• The 2017 Big Ten volleyball season is set to begin this weekend, with all 14 teams in action on Friday. Indiana, Maryland, Purdue and Wisconsin will open the season at home, while the remaining 10 conference teams will begin the season on the road.
• Penn State was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2017 volleyball season as voted on by the Big Ten coaches. Following a 24-10 season in 2016, the Nittany Lions begin their 2017 campaign ranked No. 6 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
• Eight Big Ten teams are ranked among the top 25 of the preseason AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 16 Michigan and No. 17 Michigan State. Rounding out Big Ten teams in the top 25 are No. 21 Ohio State and No. 25 Purdue.
• A pair of unanimous decisions highlighted the 2017 preseason All-Big Ten team, selected by the conference’s 14 head coaches: Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Nebraska’s Mikaela Foecke.
• The Big Ten volleyball television package features 36 contests, with 31 of those matches broadcast live on BTN, and highlighted by 10 doubleheader broadcasts. Five other matches will be shown live on the ESPN family of networks, including a Sept. 24 doubleheader on ESPN when Michigan State visits Minnesota (1 p.m. ET) and Michigan travels to Wisconsin (3 p.m. ET).
• Last season, the Big Ten sent nine teams to the NCAA Tournament, with six squads earning top-16 seeds. Six schools advanced to the Sweet 16, with Nebraska and Minnesota advancing to the Final Four.
• A Big Ten record-tying 16 volleyball players were selected as AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-Americans last season. Seven of the 16 selections return this season. Representatives on the first team were Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Sarah Wilhite, Nebraska’s Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes, Penn State’s Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington and Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini.
• Seven Academic All-America honorees, including first-team honorees in Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson and Penn State’s Simone Lee, return to their respective teams this season.
• Last season’s Setter of the Year, Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson, returns to the fold this season, as does the 2016 Freshman of the Year Molly Haggerty from Wisconsin.