Aug. 31, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
For daily updates on Big Ten volleyball, visit the Big Ten Volleyball blog at http://www.bigten.org/blog/volley_blog.html
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
Alisha Glass, Penn State
Sr., Leland, Mich.
Alisha Glass has been the mainstay at setter for Penn State during the past three seasons. Under her direction, the Nittany Lions are attacking at a rate of over .350 with an average of more than 16 kills per set. Glass has started in all but one match during her Penn State career, including all 38 matches in the 2008 season. After graduation, Glass plans to train with the U.S. National Team and possibly pursue a volleyball career overseas.
Beating the Best
Big Ten teams combined to go 5-1 against ranked opponents over the weekend, including Michigan’s 2-0 mark at the Runza/AVCA Showcase. The Wolverines swept then-No. 3 Nebraska to open the season on Friday, before downing then-No. 22 Kansas State on Saturday. Also at the Showcase, Minnesota defeated Kansas State before dropping a closely contested five-set decision to the Huskers. Michigan State opened its campaign with a five-set win over then-No. 12 USC on Friday, marking the first time in program history the Spartans beat the Trojans, and just the first time since 1976 that MSU downed a team from the Pac-10. Finally, Penn State closed out the Active Ankle Challenge with a sweep over then-No. 20 host St. Louis.
Top 10 List
Three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10 of the AVCA coaches poll, giving the conference three top-10 teams for the first time since 2007. No. 1 Penn State, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Illinois also tie the conference with the Pac-10 for most top-10 teams this week. In addition, Minnesota comes in at No. 13 in the most recent poll, followed by No. 20 Michigan State and No. 24 Purdue. The Wolverines are enjoying their highest ranking ever, while the Spartans are in their highest spot since the final 2007 poll. Penn State holds the top position for the 25th straight week.
Purdue’s Kristen Arthurs tied the Purdue, Big Ten and NCAA records with a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage vs. Ball State on Friday. The junior tallied 10 kills on 10 swings in the match, making her one of just four conference players and one of just 22 players in NCAA Division I history to achieve the distinction of a 1.000 hitting mark.
With Michigan’s win over Kansas State on Saturday, head coach Mark Rosen became the latest mentor to reach 400 career victories. Rosen joins Penn State’s Russ Rose (966), Minnesota’s Mike Hebert (839), Wisconsin’s Pete Waite (512) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (435) as other active Big Ten coaches to have reached the mark.
Packing the House
Big Ten volleyball continues to attract large numbers of fans, as Wisconsin and Purdue both rank in the top five in average attendance through the first weekend of the season. The Badgers averaged 3,528 fans per contest for the InnTowner Invitational, while the Boilermakers averaged 2,401 for the Mortar Board Premier. In addition, six of the nine highest-attended matches this season have featured a Big Ten team.
Big Ten volleyball is enjoying vast coverage during the 2009 season with 23 matches to be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The complete TV schedule can be found on Page 4. In addition, daily doses of Big Ten volleyball news can be found on the Big Ten Volleyball Blog, at http://www.bigten.org/blog/volley_blog.html. Keep track of Big Ten volleyball in real-time by logging on to Twitter and following @BigTenConf and @BigTenVal.