Sept. 22, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
Beth Karpiak, Michigan
Sr., LaGrange, Ill. / Lyons Township
As a junior, Karpiak took a community organizing class in which she worked closely with a group of people at a soup kitchen in Detroit and learned what issues affected this group the most. She learned that a major issue for homeless people or those recently released from prison is obtaining state identification that would allow them to get jobs and properly re-enter society. Beth helped organize a roundtable in which state representatives, members of the social security department and the department of corrections were invited to discuss these issues. At the conclusion, Senator Martha Scott drafted a bill that would waive certain fees for people living in poverty, allowing them to obtain the necessary documents to get jobs and become productive members of society.
Heading into the conference portion of the schedule, Michigan and Penn State remain perfect with 12-0 records. The Wolverines took home the trophy at the Michigan/adidas Invitational over the weekend, marking the team's fourth tournament win this season and the squad's 11th straight tournament title overall. With a 3-0 record at the Hampton Inn Penn State Classic over the weekend, the Nittany Lions stay undefeated in matches (12-0) and sets (36-0).
Home Sweet Home
Big Ten teams are nearly unbeatable on their home courts this season, owning a combined 43-4 (.941) home record. Seven conference squads are undefeated on their home courts, including Michigan and Penn State who are both 6-0. Overall, each Big Ten team has a winning percentage of .667 or better at home.
Gibbemeyer Grabs National Honor
Minnesota sophomore Lauren Gibbemeyer was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced last Tuesday. Gibbemeyer is the second Big Ten volleyball player to collect the award this season, marking the first time in history that two of the first three national awards in a season have gone to a Big Ten player. It is also the first time since 1997 that two of the first three awards in a season have gone to a duo from the same conference.
OSU's Carlston Reaches Coaching Mark
The Buckeye's 3-0 win over Duquesne on Friday marked the 200th career victory for OSU head coach Geoff Carlston, who currently boasts an all-time record of 202-67 (.751) in his ninth year as a head coach.
Can You Dig It?
Indiana's Juli Pierce became the Hoosiers all-time digs leader against Ball State on Friday. The senior currently boasts 1,337 career saves, breaking the previous school record of 1,331, set by Jen Magelssen (1995-98). Also over the weekend, Michigan's Kerry Hance and Minnesota's Christine Tan each joined the Big Ten's 1,000 career digs club. Hance is the ninth Wolverine in history to reach the milestone, while Tan became the 14th Golden Gopher to reach the mark.
Entering conference play this week, Penn State is riding a 25-match conference winning streak dating back to 2006, which is the fourth-longest in Big Ten history. Overall, the Nittany Lions have won their last 38 matches dating back to Sept. 21, 2007.
Get Out the Brooms
Big Ten teams have made quick work of their opponents this season, combining to sweep 71 matches. Of the conference's 103 total wins in 2008, 69 percent have come via the sweep, while 55 percent of the conference's matches played have been sweep victories. Penn State leads the conference with 12 sweeps, while each Big Ten squad has swept at least four opponents. Iowa owns the second-longest active sweeps streak at four, marking the first time since 2000 the Hawkeyes have swept four straight matches.
Big Ten hitters are among the nation's best with six teams ranked in the nation's top 35 in hitting percentage. Penn State leads all of NCAA Division I with a .398 mark, fronted by Christa Harmotto's nation-best .552 mark. Harmotto is the only player in Division I hitting over .500. Michigan's Beth Karpiak and Purdue's Stephanie Lynch rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in the category.
Big Ten on TV
The Big Ten's 11 volleyball squads will enjoy vast exposure during the 2008 regular season with 23 matches airing on national television. Twenty contests will air on the Big Ten Network and three on ESPN2. The Big Ten Network will also feature Big Ten volleyball as part of its nightly highlight show, Big Ten Tonight, as well as the Big Ten Women's Show, which airs Monday evenings. This week, two Big Ten volleyball matches will hit the national airwaves as Michigan plays at Ohio State on Wednesday and Michigan State hosts the Wolverines on Saturday.