Oct. 29, 2004
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Michigan State Catpures 3-2 Win at Home Over Michigan
Big Ten play began this week with an intrastate rivalry matchup in the state of Michigan, with the Wolverines of Michigan (15-7, 5-6) falling at Michigan State (8-11, 3-8) on Wednesday, 3-2. Other matches this weekend include No. 2 Minnesota (20-2, 9-1) at Wisconsin (13-5, 7-3) on Saturday, televised nationally on ESPN2, and Purdue (11-9, 4-6) at No. 6 Penn State (17-2, 8-2) on Saturday as well. That match will be televised on FSN Chicago. Both televised matches will be aired on Sunday.
The Race For Conference Crown Reaches Halfway Point
This past weekend marked the halfway point in the race for the Big Ten Championship. All 11 League teams have played at least 10 of the 20 schedule Conference matches, with Ohio State and Minnesota sharing the top spot with a 9-1 record. Penn State is third in the League at 8-2, followed by Wisconsin in fourth at 7-3.
Illinois Sweeps Ohio State From Ranks of Unbeaten
For the second time this season, Illinois has knocked a team from the ranks of the unbeaten. The No. 24 Fighting Illini upset No. 7 Ohio State, 3-0, in Champaign on Saturday, snapping the Buckeyes' 19-match winning streak. Earlier this year, the Illini upset two-time defending national champion and then-No. 1 USC in Champaign, ending the Women of Troy's 52-match winning streak. The win Saturday marked the first time since 1995 that Illinois had defeated two Top Ten teams in the same season when the Illini knocked off No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Ohio State in back-to-back nights.
Three Conference Teams Rank Among Top Ten
For the third time this season and only the fourth time in Big Ten history, three teams rank in the top 10 nationally. In the latest USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, Minnesota is ranked No. 2, followed by No. 6 Penn State and No. 7 Ohio State. Illinois is the fourth Big Ten school ranked in the top 25 as the Fighting Illini are currently 21st. Wisconsin has also fought back and gained the attention of the nation's coaches as the Badgers received votes outside the top 25 for the first time since October 4.
Gopher Setter Tabbed AVCA National Player of the Week
Minnesota's Kelly Bowman, a sophomore setter that is this week's Big Ten co-Player of the Week, has earned national recognition as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Division I Player of the Week. This is the second time this season a Big Ten student-athlete has received the honor from the AVCA. Ohio State's Stacey Gordon was recognized on September 13.
Michigan State's Erbe Earns 550th Career Win
Michigan State head coach Chuck Erbe earned his 550th career win Wednesday night (October 27) with a 3-2 victory over intrastate rival Michigan. Erbe, now in his 12th year in East Lansing, was head coach at Southern California from 1976-1888, before taking the helm of the Spartans in 1993.
Michigan's Rosen Joins Century Club With Wolverines
Michigan head coach Mark Rosen captured his 100th win with the Maize and Blue against Northwestern last Friday, marking the second milestone for the Wolverine mentor this season. Rosen, in his 13th year, recorded his 300th career victory on September 11 against Oakland.
Ohio State Wins 3-2 Thriller in Battle of Top 10 Teams
Big Ten play began last weekend with a blockbuster in State College as No. 7 Ohio State remained undefeated with a 3-2 win at No. 5 Penn State. The match marked the 17th time in League history that two Big Ten teams ranked in the nation's top 10 battled in Conference action. Three weeks ago, then-No. 4 Penn State dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to top-ranked Minnesota, marking the highest-ranked match in Big Ten history. Of the 17 matches in which Big Ten teams have been ranked in the top 10, the Nittany Lions have been a participant on 15 occasions.
Ohio State's Gordon Sets All-Time Big Ten Kill Mark
Ohio State's Stacey Gordon, who set a Big Ten record last season with 6.62 kills per game, broke the all-time Big Ten kill record of 2,379, established by Minnesota's Nicole Branagh from 1997-2000, on October 15.
The Buckeye senior had 25 kills in three games against Michigan State and 31 in a four-game match versus Michigan. Her record-breaking kill came on her 27th kill against the Wolverines, which gave OSU a 13-12 lead in game four. Gordon currently stands at 2,444 kills for her career. Her total places her sixth on the NCAA Division I career kills list. She stands 231 kills behind No. 5 Priscilla Pacheco (1991-94) of Georgia who has 2,675.
NCAA Career Leaders in Kills
Player, Team Years (Games - Kills)
1. Svetlana Vtyurina, George Washington, 1992-95 (488 - 3,043)
2. Javonne Brooks, New Orleans, 1989-92 (597 - 2,932)
3. Tara Cross, Long Beach State, 1986-89 (488 - 2,767)
4. Michelle Collier, South Florida, 1998-2002 (481 - 2,729)
5. Priscilla Pacheco,Georgia, 1991-94 (480 - 2,675)
6. Stacey Gordon, Ohio State, 2001-Pres. (407 - 2,444)
Three Standouts Setting Own Marks in Kills History
Several other Big Ten student-athletes have their sights set on individual marks for kills this season as well. Indiana's Christina Archibald has 1,689 kills over her career, while Minnesota's Erin Martin is only the seventh Gopher to record 1,500 kills in a career, as she now has 1,528 kills. Michigan's Jennifer Gandolph (1,468) is also quickly approaching the 1,500-kill mark.
Nearly 11,000 Gopher Fans Help Minnesota Set Record
On October 16, Minnesota broke a school record for attendance with 10,927 fans for a match at Williams Arena. The 10,927 fans that came to see the Gophers defeat then-No. 23 Illinois, were the most fans to attend a Division I volleyball match this season. Minnesota's old record of 6,046 was set in Williams Arena on September 28, 1990 against Purdue.
The Minnesota-Illinois match was the second-highest attended match between two Big Ten teams in the history of the League. The highest attended match came when 10,935 fans watched Illinois and Wisconsin battle on November 30, 1990, in Madison.
Crashing The Net
In the past two weeks, three Big Ten season highs have been recorded at the net by League standouts. This past week, Penn State's Sam Tortorello set a season high for assists with 74 in a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, while in that same match, the Buckeyes' Stacey Gordon tied her top total for the year with a League's best mark of 36 kills this season. Wisconsin freshman Taylor Reineke turned in a 12-block performance against Indiana on October 15, marking the highest total number of blocks in a match by a League player this year.
Northwestern's Robertson Goes "Wild" Against Indiana
Despite falling 3-2 to Indiana on October 16, Northwestern received a top-notch performance by senior Drew Robertson. She became the third League player this year to record a triple-double when she turned in 11 kills, 27 digs and 57 assists. Robertson joins Minnesota's Kelly Bowman (5) and Michigan's Lisa Gamalski (1) as the only League players to record at least one triple-double this season.
Bowman on Top of Game Versus Top-Ranked Competition
Minnesota's Kelly Bowman has tallied five triple-doubles this year, with two coming against three of the top four teams in the nation. On August 28, Bowman recorded 17 kills, 18 digs and 40 assists versus No. 1 USC, while on September 11, she recorded 11 kills, 19 kills and 15 assists against No. 4 Florida. Most recently, Bowman delivered 16 kills, 21 digs and 34 assists at No. 4 Penn State on October 2.
No. 1 Minnesota Tops No. 4 Penn State in Historical Match
Despite falling to Ohio State the night before, Minnesota brought its No. 1 ranking into State College on October 2 and defeated No. 4 Penn State 3-2 (34-36, 30-28, 30-27, 26-30, 15-11). The match marked the highest-ranking matchup in the Big Ten history and only the second time ever that two League teams faced off while each were nationally ranked in the top five. The only other time this scenario occurred in Conference history was when No. 4 Ohio State battled No. 5 Penn State on November 29, 1994.
The match was the first time since October 19, 2002 had two Big Ten squads taken to the court ranked in the top 10. Ironically, that match was also between Minnesota (9) and Penn State (8).
Nothing Recreation About Rec Hall For Minnesota
In that historical match between Minnesota and Penn State, the Gophers won for the second straight year in Rec Hall at Penn State. The 3-2 win marked only the third time in 16 tries Minnesota has won at Rec Hall, giving Minnesota three of the last four meetings at Rec Hall. The Gophers also made history in Rec Hall in 2000 when they snapped Penn State's NCAA record 87-match home winning streak.
A Streak To Remember
Prior to falling 3-1 to Ohio State on October 1, Minnesota spent three weeks at the top spot in the national rankings -- the first time in school history the Golden Gophers had ever been rank No. 1. In that span, Minnesota went 6-1, marking the first time a Big Ten squad had ruled the collegiate volleyball scene in three-consecutive weeks since Penn State in 1999. The Nittany Lions held the No. 1 rank for 11-straight weeks from October 4, 1999 until the final poll of the 1999 season when PSU captured the NCAA title.
Big Ten Boasts Big Upsets of Top-Ranked Teams
For the second time this season, a Big Ten team has upset the nation's top-ranked team. No. 16 Ohio State knocked off No. 1 Minnesota 3-1 (30-24, 30-23, 18-30, 30-24) on October 1, while on September 11, then-No. 16 Illinois defeated top-ranked and two-time defending national champion USC, 3-2, ending the longest winning streak in NCAA volleyball history at 52 straight. The Illini topped the Women of Troy 30-24, 24-30, 12-30, 30-27, 15-8, which marked the first time in school history that the Orange and Blue defeated a number one team. Earlier this year, Minnesota dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to then-No. 1 USC at the NACWAA Tournament.
Gentil Digging Away in Big Ten Record Books
Minnesota junior libero Paula Gentil has closed in on second place on the Big Ten all-time digs list with 1,757 career digs. Gentil is now just 163 digs out of second place and 174 away from the all-time Big Ten record. Gentil broke her own school record with 39 digs (13.0 dpg) against Michigan on September 25, bettering her previous high of 37 against then-No. 1 USC on August 28 in five games. Gentil's school record marked just the first time a League player has recorded 39 or more digs in a match since October 20, 1990.
Big Ten Ranks Among Nation's Best
As of October 24, the Big Ten boasted several of its teams and student-athletes at or near the top of the NCAA statistical rankings. Ohio State's Stacey Gordon leads the nation in kills per game (7.18), while teammate Marisa Main is second in the country in assists per game (14.71). In team categories, Ohio State ranks second in the nation in assists per game (16.83) followed by Minnesota (16.16) at No. 3. OSU also holds the nation's second-best mark in kills per game (18.19) and is third in hitting percentage (.323).
Gophers' Gentil and Lions' Walters Dig Down Deep
Two Big Ten student-athletes from two different teams were looking for one League record on October 2. Minnesota's Paula Gentil set the Big Ten record for digs in a match with 47, bettering the previous record of 44 set by Wisconsin's Susan Wohlford against Iowa on October 20, 1990. On the other side of the net, Penn State junior libero Kaleena Walters matched Wohlford's mark with a career-high and Penn State record 44 digs against the Gophers.
Gophers Say Just Bring it
Minnesota has built a record of 20-2 this season, with seven of those 22 matches coming against top 25 competition. Currently, Minnesota holds a record of 5-2 versus top 20 teams and a 4-1 record against teams in the top 15.
Opponent (Now Ranked) ... W/L ... Date
#1 USC (3) ... L, 2-3 ... 8/28/04
#4 Penn State (6) ... W, 3-2 ... 10/2/04
#4 Florida (8) ... W, 3-2 ... 9/11/04
#11 Colorado State (9) ... W, 3-1 ... 8/27/04
#15 Kansas State (18) ... W, 3-2 ... 9/10/04
#16 Ohio State (7) ... L, 1-3 ... 10/1/04
#23 Illinois (21) ... W, 3-1 ... 10/16/04
Big Ten Boasts Winning Record Over Top-25 Teams
In the four total weeks of non-conference action, Big Ten teams were a combined 10-5 against top-25 competition. League teams defeated two top-10 teams, including then top-ranked USC (Illinois, 3-2), and posted a record of 7-4 against teams in the top-15. On three occasions, three different Big Ten teams defeated the 12th-ranked team, as Purdue and Wisconsin topped then-No. 12 Georgia Tech the first week of September, while Penn State topped No. 12 Stanford the week after.
Illini's Virtue to Miss Remainder of Season
Illinois senior setter Erin Virtue suffered a tear of her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee late in the Illini's win over Ball State on September 17. The injury requires surgery, which will force the Honorable Mention All-American and Preseason All-Big Ten selection to miss the rest of the season. Virtue, who topped the 2,000 assist mark in just one-plus year as Illinois' starter, amassed 424 assists during the 2004 season before suffering the injury.
Underclassmen Blocking Out the Competition
Six underclassmen, including two freshmen in the top three, currently lead the Conference in blocks. Only two juniors and two seniors can be found among the top 10 blockers in the League. Wisconsin junior Sheila Shaw (1.43 bpg) leads the League followed by Michigan freshman Lyndsay Miller (1.33) and Shaw's teammate, freshman Taylor Reineke (1.31). Indiana junior Mandy Eberle is fourth at 1.26. Penn State's Kim Holm (So., 1.24) and Illinois' Jen Hynds (Fr., 1.18) are fifth and sixth, while Michigan's Megan Bowman (So., 1.14) is seventh. Sophomore Cassy Salyer of Penn State rounds out the top eight at 1.09.
OSU's Stone Reaches No. 500
Ohio State head coach Jim Stone captured his 500th career win on September 17 when his Buckeyes defeated Northeastern, 3-1. The win ranks him fourth among active coaches in the League. With his Buckeyes owning a 19-1 record this season, Stone has a career mark of 510-300 (.630).
Worth the Wait for Waite
Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite captured career win No. 400 on September 17 in a 3-0 sweep of Virginia. Waite, who is in his 17th year at the helm of the Badgers, has 408 career wins and ranks near the top 10 in winning percentage at .739 (408-144) overall.
Wolverines Go 3-0 For Rosen's 3-0-0
Michigan head coach Mark Rosen recorded his 300th career victory in a 3-0 defeat of Oakland University on September 11. The Wolverines captured the Michigan/Pepsi Challenge title that evening with a 3-0 sweep of Florida State. Rosen is now 309-113 (.732) in his 13th season as a head coach.
The Sweet Smell of a Rose
Penn State opened its season September 3 with a 3-0 sweep of Rutgers, giving head coach Russ Rose his 800th career victory. The Nittany Lion mentor became only the sixth coach in Division I history to reach the 800-win plateau. Currently, Rose ranks second all-time among active coaches in winning percentage (.845, Hawaii's Dave Shoji-.850) and third all-time in victories (816).