Sept. 12, 2005
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Seven Big Ten Squads Play Host This Weekend
Seven conference teams will play host to their respective tournaments this weekend, including two squads -- Penn State and Wisconsin -- that have not yet played a match on their home court during the 2005 season. Illinois (Illini Classic), Indiana (IU Invitational), Northwestern (Wildcat Classic), Ohio State (Buckeye Classic), Penn State (Penn State Classic), Purdue (Mortar Board Premier) and Wisconsin (InnTowner Invitational) will all serve as hosts this weekend.
Badgers to Host UCLA Sunday on CSTV
The 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers will open their home season this weekend, hosting the InnTowner Invitational. Wisconsin will take on Villanova Friday and Valparaiso on Saturday, before battling 11th-ranked UCLA on Sunday. The UCLA match will be televised live on CSTV beginning at 6 p.m. CT.
Four Schools Ranked in Nation's Top 15
Four Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Penn State leads the Big Ten contingent at No. 4, followed by No. 5 Minnesota. Wisconsin is ranked 13th, while Ohio State is 14th. Illinois and Purdue both received votes in the poll.
Big Ten Ranks Among NCAA Leaders
As the first full week of competition concluded, several Big Ten standouts and teams were ranked amongst the NCAA leaders, which was released September 4. Wisconsin's Taylor Reineke led the nation with a .628 hitting percentage, while her Badgers ranked eighth (.333) as a team and fifth in blocks (3.89). Among the other notables, the Big Ten had three student-athletes rank in the top four in kills per game. Illinois' Rachel VanMeter (7.53), Ohio State's Danielle Meyer (7.22) and Michigan State's Katie Johnson (7.00) placed second through fourth, respectively.
Veteran Holding Off The Rookies
Illinois senior Rachel VanMeter currently sits atop the league rankings in kills with an average of 6.84 per game, but is being chased down by several underclassmen. Only two seniors, VanMeter and Indiana's Rachel Gerling (3.59, 9th), rank among the league's top 10. Five sophomores and three freshmen make up the remaining eight spots. Currently, Michigan State's Katie Johnson is the closest to VanMeter, averaging 6.71 kills per contest.
Pair of Triple-Doubles Recorded
In the past week, two triple-doubles were recorded by conference student-athletes. Minnesota's Kelly Bowman posted 10 kills, 12 digs and 27 assists against Xavier on September 3, while Ohio State's Marisa Main recorded 14 kills, 14 digs and 54 assists in a 3-2 thrilling win at Cleveland State on September 6.