Sept. 26, 2005
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Big Ten in Action Five Days This Week
After the first full week of conference play, the Big Ten will again spread out the action this week with matches on five of the seven days.
Indiana (Evansville) and Iowa (Northern Iowa) will both play host to non-conference opponents on Tuesday, while Wednesday will boast a top 25 matchup between No. 4 Penn State (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten) at No. 18 Ohio State (8-3, 1-1).
Five league matches take place on Friday, highlighted by No. 8 Wisconsin (10-1, 2-0) at No. 21 Purdue (11-2, 0-2). Saturday's action will feature four contests, while the Boilermakers close out conference play on Sunday as they host Northwestern at 2 p.m.
Big Ten Maintains its "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. Wisconsin leads all Big Ten schools with a 10-1 (.909) mark, while Indiana is the 11th conference school over .500 at 7-6 (.538). Overall, the Big Ten is off to a 91-23 (.798) non-conference start.
Five Big Ten Schools Ranked in Nation's Top 25
For the second consecutive week, five Big Ten teams are ranked in CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Penn State (No. 4), Wisconsin (8), Minnesota (9), Ohio State (18) and Purdue (21) all found spots among the top 25 this week. Illinois is currently receiving votes.
Intrastate Rivalry to be Televised on Comcast
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will travel to Champaign this week to air the Northwestern at Illinois volleyball match, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. CT. The match will air on tape-delay at 3:30 CT the following day. The Wildcats, 9-3 on the season and 0-2 in conference play, will square off against a Fighting illini team that is 1-1 in league play and 10-3 overall. Illinois won both matches over Northwestern last season.
Big Ten Ranks Among NCAA Leaders
Several Big Ten standouts and teams are nationally ranked in many categories. As of Sept. 20, six student-athletes rank in the top 30 in assists per game, while Michigan State's Katie Johnson (6.18) and Illinois' Rachel VanMeter (6.13) are first and second, respectively, in kills per game. On the team side, six Big Ten squads rank among the top 30 in hitting percentage. A complete breakdown is included in the PDF.
The Waite is Over
Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite became the Badgers' all-time winningest coach on Sunday with a 3-0 sweep over Iowa. Waite recorded win No. 162 at Wisconsin, passing John Cook who had 161 wins in seven years with the Badgers. Waite is 162-47 in his seven years at the UW.
Penn State Avoids Purdue Upset
Fourth-ranked Penn State outlasted No. 19 Purdue on Saturday in a thrilling five-game match. The Nittany Lions captured the wins with scores of 22-30, 30-21, 27-30, 30-24 and 15-11. The match, however, posted many Boilermaker notables. Purdue took a game from Penn State for the first time since 1997 and hadn't recorded two games in a match against PSU since September 14, 1984.
One Main Dig Shy
Following a career-high 22 digs against Purdue on Friday, Ohio State's Marisa Main fell just one dig shy of recording a triple-double against Illinois the next day. The Buckeye junior posted 11 kills at a .600 clip, 61 assists and nine digs against the Illini.
Attack of the Underlcassmen
Illinois senior Rachel VanMeter has found herself atop the rankings for kills, however she is surrounded by nine underclassmen that complete the top 10. VanMeter's mark of 5.96 kills per contest betters sophomores Katie Johnson (MSU) average of 5.81 and Danielle Meyer (OSU) of 5.42, as well as seven other underclassmen.
Three Big Ten seniors sit atop the assists rankings, with Michigan State's Mickey Davis leading the field at 13.21 assists per game. Penn State's Sam Tortorello is second at 13.09, followed by Purdue's Renata Dargan at 12.98.