Sept. 11, 2006
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Michigan, which leaped into the nation's top 25 this week at No. 22, is a perfect 10-0 and off to its best start in program history.
Perfect Purdue to Hit the West Coast
At 9-0, No. 14 Purdue takes off this week for the West Coast, where it will travel to No. 9 Southern California on Friday and then to No. 20 Pepperdine on Saturday. Last season, the Boilermakers were victorious in their first 11 matches.
Big Ten Leads Country in Three Stat Categories
Michigan State is the nation's top team in two statistical categories, while Penn State leads the country and a host of Big Ten squads in another. As of Sept. 4, the Spartans were tops in assists (17.47) and kills per game (18.74). Penn State's 4.23 blocks per game is the best mark in the nation, but five conference teams follow closely behind in the top 30. Wisconsin (3.50) is 11th, Michigan (3.28) is 22nd, while Northwestern (3.27) and Minnesota (3.27) are tied for 23rd overall and Michigan State (3.08) is 28th.
Five Schools Ranked in Nation's Top 25
Five Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Penn State, which garnered 12 first-place votes, leads the Big Ten contingent at No. 2, followed by No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 14 Purdue and No. 15 Ohio State. Michigan entered the poll this week at No. 22, while Minnesota continues to receive votes.
Odds and Ends
During last week's play, Illinois' Beth Vrdsky became the seventh Illinois player to have ever reached the 1,000-dig mark, while her teammate Lizzie Bazzetta set a career high with 63 assists against Wichita State, only to follow it up with 62 in a four-game win over the College of Charleston Michigan State (7-1) is off to its best start since 2001 Last weekend at Hawaii, Northwestern freshman Kate Nobilio set the Wildcat single-match digs record for a four-game contest with 34 in a loss to the Rainbow Wahine, which NU lost by only seven combined points Wisconsin's Jocelyn Wack extended her NCAA record for matches with double-figure digs to 71 last week.
Illini Standout Stars in Big Ten Campaign
Beth Vrdsky, a senior specialist on the Illinois squad, is one of 11 selected student-athletes that will be the face of the Big Ten Conference this year as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary of Women's Championships. Vrdsky has been featured in a 30-second public service announcement "sharing her story" about her dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. To learn more about Vrdsky, as well as the conference's year-long campaign, log on to bigten.org.
Big Ten Boasts 14 Televised Matches in 2006
The Big Ten office recently announced a 14-match television lineup for the upcoming 2006 volleyball season. Three Big Ten contests each will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and CSTV, while the remaining eight matches have been selected for regional coverage on Comcast SportsNet Chicago (CSN Chicago). The 2006 television schedule will feature each conference school in action at least once during the season.