Sept. 13, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Faces of the Big Ten
Ashley Benson, MB, Indiana
Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington North
The daughter of Hoosier Basketball legend, Kent Benson Ashley Benson was born and raised in Bloomington. People in that community know the Benson name well, allowing Ashley to make an even larger impact on children in the area. The Hoosier volleyball team makes weekly visits to several local organizations, including Girls, Inc., the Boys and Girls Club, People and Animal Learning Services (PALS) and Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (MPRI).
Big Ten volleyball finished last week with a 28-4 mark, bringing its combined non-conference record to 84-12 (.875) on the season. The conference saw several of its teams finish the weekend undefeated, also knocking off several ranked opponents. Illinois defeated No. 20 Dayton, Northwestern downed No. 14 Tennessee and Penn State defeated No. 4 Florida, while Minnesota upended a Duke squad that was receiving votes last week.
Where We Rank
The Big Ten has five teams ranked in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Poll. Penn State appears at No. 2 in this week's ranking, while Illinois is No. 5, making the Big Ten the only conference in the nation with two teams in the top five. Minnesota remains at No. 12 this week, while Michigan maintains its spot at No. 22 in the poll. Ohio State makes its first appearance in the poll this season, checking in at No. 25, and enters the rankings for the first time since the Sept. 17, 2007 poll. Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin are also receiving votes in this week's poll.
Two Big Ten teams remain undefeated thus far in 2010. Indiana ran its record to 10-0 on the season and is off to its best start since the 1997 campaign, when the Hoosier began the year 15-0. Wisconsin, who is off to a 9-0 start this season, has recorded the third-best start in program history. Both squads went on the road last weekend and carry their flawless records into this week's matches, the final non-conference contests before the start of Big Ten play.
Time to Start a New One
After winning its last 109 matches, the Penn State volleyball team's undefeated streak came to an end on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to No. 2 Stanford. The three-time defending NCAA Champions had last lost on Sept. 15, 2007, a five-set match against the Cardinal. The streak was the second-longest in NCAA history, behind only Miami men's tennis with 137 consecutive wins. At one point during the stretch, Penn State won 111 straight sets, and lost just 19 sets during its winning streak.
This and That
Northwestern came back from an 0-2 deficit against No. 14 Tennessee on Friday, it's rally from 0-2 since 2005 and first over a ranked foe since 2008 ... Indiana's Ashley Benson has been named Tournament MVP at each of the Hoosiers' tournaments this season ... Michigan's Lexi Zimmerman needs 157 more assists to become the program's all-time leader.
Five Big Ten volleyball student-athletes were named candidates for the inaugural 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for volleyball. The award will be given annually to outstanding seniors who have demonstrated excellence in four areas - community, classroom, character and competition. Illinois' Laura DeBruler, Michigan's Lexi Zimmerman, Minnesota's Lauren Gibbemeyer, Northwestern's Sabel Moffett and Penn State's Arielle Wilson were listed among the 30 candidates, which will be narrowed to 10 midway through the season.