Sept. 19, 2005
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Big Ten Play Opens This Week
The 23rd official Big Ten Conference season opens this week with an intrastate rivalry on Wednesday, September 21. Michigan, winners of the last six games, will travel to Michigan State to face a Spartan squad that is off to a 7-3 start.
Five matches take place on both Friday and Saturday, with two-time defending league champion Penn State hosting Illinois and Purdue, respectively.
The first full week of league play concludes on Sunday with Iowa at Wisconsin at 1 p.m.
Five Big Ten Schools Ranked in Nation's Top 20
For the first time since September 9, 2002, five Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 20 of the CSTV-AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Penn State (No. 4), Minnesota (5), Wisconsin (10), Ohio State (16) and Purdue (19) all found spots among the top 25 this week. This is the first time since September 6, 2003, the league has had five ranked in the top 25.
9/9/02: OSU (9), PSU (11), WIS (12), MINN (13), MSU (19)
9/6/03: MINN (5), PSU (7), ILL (16), PUR (24), WIS (25)
Big Ten Off to "Major" Start
Of the six major conferences in the country (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC), the Big Ten is the only league to boast every team with a record better than .500. Purdue leads all Big Ten schools with an 11-0 mark, while Indiana is the 11th conference school over .500 at 6-5 (.545). Overall, the Big Ten is off to a 91-23 (.798) non-conference start.
Boilers and Buckeyes to be Broadcast
Comcast SportsNet Chicago is set to air its first-ever Big Ten volleyball match this week when Purdue travels to Ohio State on Friday. The game, which has a scheduled first serve at 6 p.m. CT, will air on tape-delay at noon CT on Sunday. No. 19 Purdue, which is 11-0 and off to its best start since 1985 when it began 13-0, will face a Buckeye squad that is 7-2 and ranked 16th in the nation.
Big Ten Ranks Among NCAA Leaders
Several Big Ten standouts and teams are nationally ranked in many categories. As of September 13, Illinois' Rachel VanMeter (6.84) and Michigan State's Katie Johnson (6.71) were second and third, respectively, in kills per game, while Wisconsin's Taylor Reineke ranked third in the country with 2.00 blocks per game. The Badgers were fourth as a team in blocks per game with an average of 3.89. A complete breakdown is located in the PDF above.
Spartans' Colaluca Flirts With Big Ten Record
Michigan State's Nicole Colaluca nearly matched the Big Ten record for digs this past weekend against Sacramento State. The MSU sophomore posted 45 digs in the five-game loss, which fell just two digs shy of matching Minnesota's Paula Gentil, who set that mark of 47 last year against Penn State. Colaluca's total shattered a 17-year MSU record, which was previously set in 1988 by Jill Krumm, who tallied 36 digs in a five game match.
Other Big Ten Marks Worth Noting...
In addition to Colaluca's digs mark, several other impressive conference season-highs were posted last week. The following eight totals set last weekend now rank as the top mark in the league this year.
Aces: 8 Gentil, Paula (MINN) vs Campbell (9/16)
Assists: 81 (5g) Martin, Mara (MICH) at Georgia (9/16)
Aces: 16, NU vs Brown (9/17)
Assists: 84, 5g, MICH at Georgia (9/16)
Total Att.: 233, (81k-51e-233ta), 5g, MSU at Sac. State (9/17)
Digs: 103, 5g, MSU at Sacramento State (9/17)
Hitting %: .527, (45k- 6e- 74ta), MINN vs Campbell (9/16)
Kills: 90, (90k-26e-209ta), 5g, MICH at Georgia (9/16)