Oct. 25, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Faces of the Big Ten
Mallory Husz, Iowa
Jr., MB, Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central
Her grandmother is a nurse, her mother is a nurse, her sisters are nurses and her aunts are nurses, so it’s no surprise that Mallory is a health science major. What may surprise her family is she’s studying at the University of Iowa. Growing up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the border of Nebraska, Husz’ bedroom was covered in Cornhusker décor. Today the Academic All-Big Ten honoree bleeds black and gold and is a member of Iowa’s Leadership Council. Her philanthropic deeds include hosting last summer’s inaugural breast cancer fundraiser with the Gamma Phi sorority and the Johnson Co. Pork Producers.
The Big Ten is halfway through its conference season, and eight teams enter the second half with a .500 or better record in Big Ten play. Illinois stands atop the Big Ten standings with a 9-1 overall mark, with Michigan second at 8-2 and Penn State third at 7-3. Meanwhile, five conference teams are tied for fourth in the standings with 5-5 records. This week, the Big Ten’s top two teams will face off when Michigan travels to Illinois on Friday night. Also, five Big Ten matches will produced for a national audience this week, two on the Big Ten Network and three online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Where We Rank
Eight Big Ten teams, tied for the most this season, are receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including five teams in the top 25. Illinois and Penn State maintain their positions in the top 10 with the Illini at No. 6 and the Nittany Lions at No. 9. Michigan is ranked No. 15 this week, while Minnesota holds steady at No. 20 and Northwestern appears at No. 24. Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue are also receiving votes this week.
Up in the RPI
In the latest RPI report released by the NCAA on Monday, 10 Big Ten squads ranked among the top 50, most of any conference in the nation. Illinois ranks second overall, followed by Penn State at No. 4 and Minnesota at No. 10. Northwestern and Purdue also rank in the top 20, with the Wildcats at No. 16 and the Boilermakers at No. 19. Ohio State, Michigan and Indiana occupy Nos. 26, 27 and 28, respectively, while Michigan State is 41st and Wisconsin is 48th.
The Big Ten ranks among the best in the nation in blocking this season as seven teams rank in top 31 nationally. Penn State and Ohio State rank in the top 10, with the Nittany Lions fifth at 2.98 blocks per set and the Buckeyes at 2.87. Individually, five conference standouts rank among the top 50 nationally, led by Indiana’s Ashley Benson, who ranks seventh at 1.47 bps. Northwestern’s Sabel Moffett (eighth, 1.45), Ohio State’s Allie Shwarzwalder (22nd, 1.29), Penn State’s Arielle Wilson (31st, 1.24) and Fatima Balza (33rd, 1.24) are among the Big Ten standouts who rank in the top 50 individually in blocks.
Thanks to the Fans
Big Ten fans continue to be some of the most dedicated in the nation with four Big Ten squads ranking among the top 10 teams in average home attendance this season. Additionally, eight of the top 25 schools in home attendance hail from the Big Ten, and four conference schools average 2,000 or more fans per contest. Wisconsin ranks third nationally with 3,807 fans per contest, followed immediately by Penn State (3,705) and Minnesota (3,273), with Illinois at No. 9 (2,419).
Three Big Ten volleyball student-athletes were named finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for volleyball. The award is given annually to outstanding seniors who have demonstrated excellence in four areas – community, classroom, character and competition. Illinois’ Laura DeBruler, Minnesota’s Lauren Gibbemeyer and Penn State’s Arielle Wilson are among this year’s finalists. Fans can log on to www.seniorclassaward.com and vote once a day through Nov. 23, as one-third of fans’ votes will be used, along with votes from national media and coaches, to determine this year’s winner, which will be announced during the 2010 NCAA Championship.
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.