Aug. 28, 2012
Big Ten Volleyball Weekly Release
First Serve: Big Ten volleyball compiled 31 victories on opening weekend, with eight conference teams boasting undefeated records. Michigan won all four of its matches, while Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue won three straight contests, and Minnesota and Northwestern claimed back-to-back wins to open the campaign.
MVP! MVP!: Six Big Ten players earned Most Valuable Player honors at their respective tournaments over the weekend. Indiana's Jordan Haverly (Black Knight Invitational), Michigan's Lexi Erwin (Tiger Invitational), Michigan State's Lauren Wicinski (Spartan Showcase), Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus (Marquette Challenge), Penn State's Ariel Scott (Active Ankle Challenge) and Purdue's Amanda Miller (Mortar Board Premier Tournament) each earned top honors, while 19 other conference players were named to their events' All-Tournament teams.
Where We Rank: Eight Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, led by No. 1 Nebraska. The Huskers received 32 first-place votes and sit atop the poll after taking down former No. 1 and defending national champion UCLA on Saturday. Nebraska is followed by No. 4 Penn State and No. 7 Purdue in the top 10. Minnesota sits at No. 16, while Illinois is No. 19 and Michigan is No. 22. Ohio State and Michigan State are also receiving votes in the poll.
Familiar Territory: Since the 2004 season, Big Ten institutions have claimed No. 1 rankings in the AVCA Coaches Poll 96 times out of 129 weeks (74 percent). A Big Ten school has topped the weekly poll at least five weeks or more in seven of the last eight seasons, including four consecutive years from 2006-09. Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Penn State have all earned No. 1 rankings over the past eight seasons.
We've Got You Covered: Now there are more ways than ever to follow Big Ten volleyball. The Big Ten volleyball blog can be accessed directly at www.bigten.org/blog/volleyball and will feature daily notes, links to articles, previews, recaps and more. You can also keep track of Big Ten volleyball in real-time by following the conference on Twitter @BigTenConf and @B1GVolleyball or become a fan of the Big Ten Conference on Facebook and receive exclusive updates at facebook.com/BigTenConference.