Big Ten Volleyball Weekly Release - Sept. 14, 2011
Sept. 14, 2011
First Serve: Big Ten volleyball heads into the final week of non-conference competition this week with 11 teams competing in invitationals. Illinois, Michigan and Purdue sit atop the conference standings at 9-0, the lone Big Ten teams with undefeated records.. Through three weeks of play, Big Ten teams have racked up 82 wins against non-conference foes, including seven against top-25 opponents.
Tourney Roundup: Nine Big Ten teams took home tournament titles last weekend, with eight conference players garnering Most Valuable Player honors and 24 others earning All-Tournament Team accolades. Indiana's Caitlin Cox (Hoosier Classic), Iowa's Tiffany Nilges (Iowa Invitational), Michigan's Alex Hunt (Dayton Marriott Flyer Classic), Minnesota's Ashley Wittman (Clarion InnVitational), Nebraska's Lauren Cook (Ameritas Player's Challenge), Ohio State's Mari Hole (Toledo Rocket Classic), Purdue's Rachel Davis (Purdue Active Ankle Challenge) and Wisconsin's Courtney Thomas (Art Carmichael Invitational) each earned MVP honors over the weekend.
Where We Rank: The latest AVCA Division I Coaches' Poll again features seven Big Ten volleyball teams, giving it the most top-25 squads of any conference in the country. Illinois moves up to No. 3 this week to lead all conference teams while fifth-ranked Penn State joins the Illini in the top five. Ninth-ranked Minnesota and No. 10 Nebraska give the Big Ten four top-10 teams while No. 14 Purdue, No. 18 Michigan and No. 25 Ohio State round out the contingent of conference squads.
Statistically Speaking: The Big Ten is well-represented among the national leaders in numerous statistical categories. Michigan State's Alexis Mathews is second in the country in blocks per set (1.71) while Purdue's Tiffany Fisher (second, .488) and Mathews (ninth, .438) hold top-10 spots in hitting percentage. Illinois' Annie Luhrsen (third, 12.37) and Minnesota's Mia Tabberson (ninth, 12.0) are among the top 10 in assists per set, while Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus ranks sixth in the country in kills per set (4.93). In the team rankings, Michigan State leads the country in hitting percentage (.337) and is fourth in blocks per set (3.21), while Illinois is third in kills per set (15.0) and fifth in assists per set (13.86).
Don't Touch That Dial: Big Ten volleyball will be featured prominently on BTN and ESPN2 this season, with 29 matches receiving national coverage. BTN will provide coverage for 26 matches, including 17 live broadcasts. Numerous matches will also be streamed live online on www.BTN.com.
Big Ten Bits: Indiana's Caitlin Cox became the school's all-time digs leader over the weekend, currently sitting at 1,569 for her career ... Nebraska's home winning streak of 25 matches is the third-best active streak in the nation.
We've Got You Covered: Now there are more ways than ever to follow Big Ten volleyball. The Big Ten volleyball blog can be accessed directly here and will feature notes, links to articles, previews, recaps and more. Keep track of Big Ten volleyball by following the conference on Twitter @BigTenConf and @B1GVolleyball or become a fan of the Big Ten Conference on Facebook.