Sept. 17, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. -
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT – Northwestern’s Lorie Miller: A 1984 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Northwestern’s Lorie Miller was a four-time letterwinner for the Wildcats from 1980-83. Miller guided Northwestern to its first Big Ten title in her senior season, in which she was named first-team All-Big Ten. Miller ranks seventh all-time on Northwestern’s career service aces list (198). She earned her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and went on to earn her Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western University.
First Serve: The Big Ten compiled more than 27 victories for the third consecutive week. Conference teams earned a 28-8 mark last weekend, as six teams collected 3-0 marks, including Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue. The Buckeyes remained undefeated on the year (9-0) and every Big Ten team boasts at least a .500 record.
Very Valuable: For the third week in a row, at least four Big Ten standouts earned Most Valuable Player honors at their respective tournaments over the weekend. Indiana’s Jordan Haverly (Hoosier Classic), Michigan State’s Lauren Wicinski (Butler Tournament), Nebraska’s Amber Rolfzen (Ameritas Players Challenge) and Ohio State’s Taylor Sherwin (Sports Impact DC Koehl Classic) each earned top honors, while 15 other conference players were named All-Tournament Team performers.
View From The Top: Since the 2004 season, Big Ten institutions have claimed No. 1 rankings in the AVCA Coaches Poll 105 times out of 144 weeks (73 percent). A Big Ten school has topped the weekly poll at least five weeks or more in eight of the last nine seasons. Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Penn State have all earned No. 1 rankings over the past nine seasons. This week the Nittany Lions top the poll for the second time this season, followed by No. 9 Minnesota, No. 10 Michigan, No. 12 Nebraska, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 16 Illinois and No. 21 Purdue. Wisconsin was receiving votes in the poll.
Statistically Speaking: Numerous Big Ten standouts appear among the top 10 of the NCAA statistical leaders, which were released on Monday. Ohio State’s Kaitlyn Leary leads the country in kills per set (5.53), while Penn State’s Micha Hancock tops the nation in aces per set (0.96). Leary ranks fourth in points per set (5.82) and Minnesota’s Tori Dixon is ninth (5.43). Ohio State’s Taylor Sherwin averages 12.31 assists per set, good for fourth in the country, while Illinois’ Maddie Mayers is fifth in blocks per set (1.61). Michigan State’s Alexis Mathews is sixth in hitting percentage (.490).
Three’s Company: Fifty-four of the Big Ten’s 84 victories this season have come in straight sets (64 percent). Six conference teams have won at least five matches by a score of 3-0, including Minnesota (8), Michigan State (7), Penn State (6), Indiana (5), Michigan (5) and Nebraska (5). Purdue and Wisconsin have both earned four three-set victories, while Illinois, Northwestern and Ohio State have each swept three opponents.