Sept. 27, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Faces of the Big Ten
Jennifer Bonilla, LIB, Illinois
Fr., Reseda, Calif.
Jennifer has overcome humble beginnings to earn a volleyball scholarship at Illinois. Raised in the heart of central Los Angeles, Jennifer was to a great deal raised by a former teacher at St.Thomas the Apostle School, Gustavo Beltran, who had the instinct to take her to a tryout for USA Volleyball as a sixth grader. Jennifer has been a part of the USA Volleyball system for six years, playing last summer for the US Junior National Team that won gold at NORCECA games and was named the top high school libero of the decade by prepvolleyball.com.
Big Ten Conference action began this past weekend, as each team finished with two intraconference matchups in the books. Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern each finished the first weekend of Big Ten play undefeated, as each team knocked off one squad that was receiving votes in last week’s AVCA coaches poll. This week, five conference contests will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network or streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Where We Rank
Seven Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. In total, five Big Ten squads were voted into the top 25, the second-most of any conference. The Big Ten boasts two top-10 teams with No. 4 Penn State and No. 7 Illinois, while Minnesota appears at No. 17, Michigan moves up to No. 22, and Northwestern enters the rankings at No. 25, earning its first national ranking since 1987.
The Streak Ends Here
Illinois put an end to Penn State’s undefeated Big Ten winning-streak in a five-set thriller over the weekend. The Illini battled back in the final set to upend the three-time defending NCAA Champion and No. 2 Nittany Lions and their streak of 65 consecutive conference victories. Illinois has now defeated two teams that have been ranked second in the polls, having knocked off then-No. 2 Texas in three sets on Sept. 3.
This and That
With 96 assists over the weekend, Michigan’s Lexi Zimmerman became Michigan’s all-time leader in assists with 5,144, which ranks her sixth in conference annals … Illinois’ Laura DeBruler needs five kills to become Illinois’ all-time leader, while teammate Johannah Bangert needs 16 blocks to become the program leader … Northwestern’s 12-1 start is the program’s best since a 14-1 mark in 1987.
Five Big Ten volleyball student-athletes were named candidates for the inaugural 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for volleyball. The award will be given annually to outstanding seniors who have demonstrated excellence in four areas – community, classroom, character and competition. Illinois’ Laura DeBruler, Michigan’s Lexi Zimmerman, Minnesota’s Lauren Gibbemeyer, Northwestern’s Sabel Moffett and Penn State’s Arielle Wilson were listed among the 30 candidates, which will be narrowed to 10 midway through the season.
Got You Covered
This season, Big Ten women’s volleyball will enjoy extensive television coverage, with 25 matches being broadcast nationally. The Big Ten Network is televising 22 conference volleyball matchups, while ESPN2 will showcase three contests this season. Additionally, the Big Ten Network will stream numerous matches online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Also, for up to the minute news and notes on Big Ten volleyball, log on to the Big Ten Volleyball Blog at http://www.bigten.org/blog/volleyball/ or follow on Twitter at @BigTenDan.