Sep 3, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. -
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT – Minnesota’s Lindsey Berg: A 2002 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Minnesota’s Lindsey Berg was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree from 1999-2001. She led the conference in aces per game in each of her four years and finished her collegiate career second all-time in service aces (283) and third in assists (5,913) at Minnesota. After her Gopher career, Berg went on to compete for the U.S. National Team in three Olympic Games, helping the United States to silver medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. The Honolulu, Hawaii, native served as a team co-captain during the 2008 Olympic Games.
First Serve: For the third time in the last four years, Big Ten teams compiled 30 or more victories on opening weekend, with seven squads boasting undefeated records. Minnesota won all four of its matches, while Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin won three straight contests and Penn State claimed back-to-back wins to open its campaign.
Very Valuable: Seven Big Ten standouts earned Most Valuable Player honors at their respective tournaments over the weekend. Illinois’ Jocelynn Birks (Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational), Indiana’s Awele Nwaeze (Indiana Invitational), Iowa’s Alessandra Dietz (Chanticleer Invitational) Michigan’s Lexi Dannemiller (Xavier Invitational), Ohio State’s Taylor Sherwin (NIU Invitational), Penn State’s Micha Hancock (Penn State Invitational) and Wisconsin’s Ellen Chapman (Pepperdine Invitational) each earned top honors, while 16 other conference players were named All-Tournament Team performers.
Head of the CLASS: Five Big Ten volleyball standouts were named candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, given to athletes who excel both on and off of the court. Michigan’s Jennifer Cross, Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski, Minnesota’s Ashley Wittman, Northwestern’s Stephanie Holthus and Penn State’s Ariel Scott are each up for the award.
Eight is Great: The Big Ten leads the country with eight teams ranked in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. Penn State tops the poll at No. 1, while No. 4 Minnesota and No. 7 Michigan follow in the top 10. Nebraska sits at No. 13, followed by No. 18 Illinois, No. 20 Michigan State, No. 22 Purdue and No. 23 Ohio State. Wisconsin is receiving votes in the poll.
International Competition: Four Big Ten volleyball squads have competed or will compete in exhibition matches against Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza, a team from the Polish Champions League. The club began a three-week American tour against Penn State on Aug. 30. The Nittany Lions swept Dabrowa. Dabrowa will face Ohio State (Sept. 4), Purdue (Sept. 6) and Northwestern (Sept. 9) this week.