Conference Leaders Go Head-to-Head in Week 5

Oct. 15, 2007

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Penn State and Wisconsin remain at the top of the conference standings with identical 8-0 records. The Nittany Lions and Badgers will face off on Sunday in a match that will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Big Ten on TV
Three conference matchups will be televised this week with two matches airing on the Big Ten Network and another appearing on ESPN2.

Wednesday's showdown between in-state rivals Purdue and Indiana will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. The appearance will be the Hoosiers' first, while the Boilermakers are 1-0 in Big Ten Network games.

ESPN2 will televise Friday's contest between Ohio State and Wisconsin in a broadcast that will air on Sunday at Noon ET.

The Badgers will once again reach a television audience as they face Penn State on Sunday in a match that will be aired on the Big Ten Network that day at 5 p.m. ET. Wisconsin is 2-0 in games on the Big Ten Network while Penn State is 1-0.

Badgers Off to Best Start Ever
At 16-1 overall, Wisconsin is off to the best start in the program's history. With an 8-0 mark in conference games, the Badgers are off to their second-best Big Ten start, bested only by the 2001 squad that opened the conference season at 11-0. Wisconsin has won its last 13 matches, which ties the longest streak in the Big Ten this season.

Fast Starts Nothing New to PSU
Penn State
is out to an 8-0 conference start for the third straight season and the eighth time in the last 17 years. The Nittany Lions have swept all eight of those matches for a perfect 24-0 mark in conference games played. Over the last three seasons, Penn State has won 46 of its 48 Big Ten matches, amassing a .958 winning percentage.

Packing the House
drew its largest home crowd in program history on Saturday, bringing in 2,191 fans in a match against Wisconsin. Minnesota's attendance of 5,458 on Friday vs. the Badgers marked the second-largest volleyball attendance at the Sports Pavilion. The Big Ten boasts three of the nation's top 10 teams in terms of attendance and seven of the top 25. Both marks are the highest total for any conference in the nation.

Road Warriors
With wins at Iowa and No. 11 Minnesota over the weekend, Illinois recorded consecutive conference road victories for the first time since the 1992 season. The win over the Gophers marked Illinois' first road win over a top-15 team in five years as the Illini last defeated No. 6 Minnesota in five games in Minneapolis in 2003.

Digging Toward Milestones
Badger senior libero Jocelyn Wack is one dig away from tying and two away from breaking Wisconsin's career digs record. Wack's current total of 1,919 is second in school history only to Susan Wohlford's mark of 1,920 (1988-91). Indiana's Juli Pierce reached the 1,000 career digs milestone on Saturday night as the Hoosiers beat Northwestern.

Big Ten in the Polls
For the second week in a row, the Big Ten is home to four of the top 15 teams in the nation. After spending eight weeks at No. 3, Penn State is up one spot to No. 2, while Wisconsin is also one place higher from a week ago in eighth. Minnesota dropped two spots from last week to 13th, and Michigan holds steady at No. 15 for the second straight week.