Tough Competition Ahead as Minnesota Hosts No. 2 Stanford and PSU Visits No. 1 Nebraska

Aug. 27, 2007

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Big Ten volleyball faces stiff competition in Week 2 of the season as No. 3 Penn State travels to Lincoln, Neb., to take on the top-ranked Cornhuskers, and No. 9 Minnesota hosts second-ranked Stanford at home.

Join the Club
Wisconsin senior Taylor Reineke became the 21st member of the Big Ten's 500 career blocks club with her first stuff of the season on Friday. Reineke totaled 12 blocks on the weekend and now has 511 in her career. Also on Friday, Penn State junior Nicole Fawcett became the 18th Nittany Lion to record 1,000 career kills, while Purdue senior Samantha Mader became the 18th Boilermaker to reach the same milestone on Saturday.

Fresh Faces
Several Big Ten newcomers had big impacts with their teams during the first weekend of the season, including Minnesota's Brook Dieter, who became the first Golden Gopher since 2001 to record double-figure kills in her debut with 18. Dieter also became just the third Gopher since 1985 to record a double-double as she contributed 14 digs in Minnesota's 3-0 win over Notre Dame. Also with stellar debuts, Illinois' Laura DeBruler notched 62 kills and 26 digs in three matches while Johannah Bangert recorded 24 kills and 15 blocks on the weekend. Iowa redshirt freshman Becky Walters put down 16 kills to the tune of a .412 hitting percentage against No. 17 BYU on Saturday.

Packing the House
Iowa's season opener against No. 17 BYU on Saturday marked the second-largest home crowd in the history of Hawkeye volleyball.

No Getting Past Mother Nature
Indiana's opening contest against Western Kentucky at the Northern Illinois Tournament was postponed as DeKalb, Ill., was declared a state of emergency due to flooding. When the Hoosiers began their season on Saturday, first-year head coach Sherry Dunbar won her first two matches at IU, breaking the school's 19-game losing streak that extended to last season.

Movin' On Up
Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the current edition of the CSTV/AVCA Top 25, including Michigan, who went from receiving votes last week to No. 20. The Wolverines made the jump on the strength of a 3-2 upset over then-No. 10 Hawaii, eventually winning the ASICS Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Also representing the conference are No. 3 Penn State, No. 9 Minnesota, No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 13 Ohio State and No. 17 Purdue.