Oct. 20, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
KELLY SCHMIDT, Minnesota
Sr., Champaign, Ill. / Centennial
Schmidt was selected as a senior captain for the Golden Gophers prior to the start of this season. She has excelled in the classroom where she is a two-time Big Ten All-Academic honoree. Schmidt is also a second-generation Big Ten athlete. Her father Rick played basketball for Illinois from 1972-75, and finished 37th on the program's all-time scoring list. Schmidt's uncle Rudy also played football at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently featured in a Big Ten Network PSA that features her family’s Big Ten connections.
Lions Roaring into NCAA Records Books
Penn State remains the No. 1 team in the nation for the ninth consecutive week this season and is undefeated in matches (20-0) and sets (60-0). PSU now owns its 32nd consecutive 20-win season in the program’s 33-year history. Dating back to the fifth set of the 2007 NCAA Championship final, PSU has won its last 61 consecutive sets, ranking fourth all-time in NCAA history. The Nittany Lions are second with 46 consecutive matches won dating back to last year, trailing only USC’s 52 straight from Nov. 8, 2002-Sept. 10, 2004.
The third set of Saturday’s match between Indiana and Michigan finished at 38-36 in favor of the Wolverines. The set saw a combined 14 set-point attempts, including nine by the Hoosiers. The score is the highest played to by a Big Ten team so far this season and is one of just three sets to have reached the 30-point marker. The other two instances happened on the same day as Northwestern defeated UCLA, 32-20, in Set 2, and Minnesota lost to North Carolina, 29-31, in Set 4 on Sept. 20. The Indiana-Michigan match is the only contest during the Big Ten slate to feature a 30-point set.
Big Ten Stuffs the Competition
The Big Ten is the only conference in the nation to boast three individuals with over 1.50 blocks per set. Illinois’ Johannah Bangert leads the conference with a 1.61 bps average, followed by Penn State’s Christa Harmotto (1.54) and Indiana’s Ashley Benson (1.52). In all, four Big Ten student-athletes rank in the NCAA’s top 10 in blocks per set, while seven rank in the top 26. The Big Ten also boasts four teams in the NCAA’s top 10, including Penn State, who leads the nation with 3.23 blocks per set.
Home Sweet Home
Big Ten teams combined to go 9-2 at home last weekend, including 2-0 home records from Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue. Overall, Big Ten teams are a combined 70-21 on their home courts, which is good enough for a .769 winning percentage. Penn State and Minnesota have each posted double-digit wins at home with respective records of 11-0 and 10-2.
Packing the House
With Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan State ranked third through seventh, respectively, the Big Ten accounts for half of the nation’s top 10 in average home attendance. Big Ten teams have also participated in two of the three most-highly attended matches this season. Most recently, this past Friday Purdue welcomed 10,570 fans through the turnstiles at Mackey Arena as the Boilermakers beat the Badgers as part of “Mackey Madness,” a combination event with men’s and women’s basketball opening night. It was the second-largest crowed to ever witness a Purdue home volleyball match. Iowa also welcomed its second-largest all-time crowd over the weekend as 1,746 fans saw the Hawkeyes defeat Michigan State. Three of the top five crowds in Iowa school history have happened this season.
Join the Club
Iowa’s Kiley Fister became the newest member of the Big Ten’s 4,000-assists club on Saturday. The senior boasts 4,027 helpers in career, placing her 34th on the conference’s all-time list and third all-time at Iowa.
Can You Dig It?
Northwestern junior Kate Nobilio recorded 34 digs in the Wildcats’ upset win over then-No. 17 Illinois last Friday. The total marked the second-highest mark in Big Ten play this season and the fourth-highest total in NU program history.
Big Ten on TV
The Big Ten’s 11 volleyball squads are enjoying vast exposure during the 2008 regular season with 23 matches airing on national television. Three Big Ten volleyball matches hit the airwaves this week, beginning on Wednesday as No. 18 Purdue travels to No. 19 Illinois live on the Big Ten Network. On Saturday, ESPN2 will produce the Penn State at Wisconsin match and air it on a delay on Sunday, while the Big Ten Network will broadcast the Minnesota at Michigan contest, also to be aired Sunday afternoon.