Big Ten Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 11, 2011
Oct. 11, 2011
First Serve: With identical 6-0 records through three weeks of Big Ten play, Illinois and Nebraska share first place in the conference standings. Four top-25 matchups highlight this week's schedule, beginning on Wednesday as No. 20 Michigan visits No. 1 Illinois for an 8 p.m. ET match which will be broadcast live on BTN. Eight of the conference's 12 matches this week will be broadcast live or on tape delay on BTN or streamed live on www.BTN.com.
The Week That Was: Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska each put together back-to-back conference wins last week. The Illini maintained their unbeaten status with two road wins over ranked opponents, defeating No. 25 Ohio State, 3-0, and No. 8 Penn State, 3-2. The Huskers also remained undefeated in conference play with wins over No. 11 Purdue (3-1) and Indiana (3-0). The Gophers picked up road wins over No. 18 Michigan (3-2) and Michigan State (3-0).
All They Do is Win: Illinois pushed its season-opening win streak to 17 matches last week, remaining the only undefeated team in the country. The top-ranked Illini are off to the second-best start in school history, having won their first 30 matches in 1985.
Where We Rank: For the third consecutive week, Illinois holds the top ranking in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, earning all but two of the 60 first-place votes to lead the seven ranked Big Ten teams. Nebraska returns to the top five this week, checking in at No. 5. Penn State holds No. 9 in the latest poll, while Purdue again ranks 11th nationally. Minnesota stands at No. 14 for the second straight week, while Michigan checks in at No. 20 and Ohio State holds No. 24 to round out the group of ranked conference teams. Seven ranked teams give the Big Ten the most of any conference in the country.
One Streak Continues...: Nebraska extended its home winning streak to 30 matches over the weekend, giving the Huskers the second-longest active streak in the nation. Cincinnati currently holds the longest active streak at 42 matches, while Penn State holds the national record after winning 94 home contests in a row.
...And Another Streak Ends: With a five-set win on Saturday, top-ranked Illinois snapped Penn State's streak of 68 consecutive wins in Big Ten home matches. The streak spanned eight seasons, with the Nittany Lions' last conference loss at home coming on Oct. 20, 2004 against Ohio State.
Statistically Speaking: Several Big Ten players are among the NCAA leaders in various statistical categories. Penn State's Micha Hancock leads the country in aces per set (0.82), while Minnesota's Mia Tabberson is third in assists per set (12.02). Fellow Gopher Ashley Wittman (4.7) and Purdue's Ariel Turner (4.69) are ninth and 10th, respectively, in kills per set. Turner is also seventh nationally in points per set (5.44).
Home Sweet Home: Big Ten teams are a combined 67-20 (.770) in home matches this season, with three conference squads boasting undefeated records on their home courts. Purdue has won all eight of its home matches, while Illinois and Nebraska have each won all seven of their home contests. Four Big Ten teams hold attendance averages in the top 10 nationally as the Huskers rank second (4,878 fans per game), Minnesota ranks third (3,919), Penn State is fourth (3,534) and Wisconsin is fifth (3,252).
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