Penn State Earns No. 1 National Ranking for First Time Since 1999

Oct. 29, 2007

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Two Big Ten volleyball matches will be nationally televised this week, including a Halloween night contest between Iowa and Minnesota. Penn State is ranked No. 1 in the country and remains atop the standings with a 12-0 record, and 10 of the Big Ten's 11 squads are above .400 in conference play for the first time in history at this point in the season.

Big Ten on TV
Big Ten volleyball action will hit the national airwaves on Halloween night as Minnesota hosts Iowa at 6 p.m. CT in a match that will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. Minnesota is 2-1 in network games while Iowa is 0-1. On Friday, No. 1 Penn State hosts Purdue in a match that will air live on and will be tape-delayed on ESPN2 on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. The Nittany Lions defeated Minnesota last Friday in a contest aired by the ESPN family.

Digging Their Way Up
Wisconsin senior Jocelyn Wack became the second player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 career digs when she saved 26 against Purdue on Saturday. Michigan senior Stesha Selsky moved into third on the Big Ten's all-time digs list over the weekend, now with 1,977 in her career. Selsky trails Wack and Minnesota's Paula Gentil (2,781 from 2000-05) in the Big Ten records book.

2007 Conference Squads Most Evenly Matched
Through 12 games, 10 of the Big Ten's 11 squads own records of 5-7 or better in conference action. This marks the first time in Big Ten history that 10 squads own conference-only records over .400 at this point in the season.

Northwestern Defends Home Arena
Northwestern went undefeated on its most recent four-match homestand, marking the first time since 1984 that the Wildcats have gone 4-0 in a conference homestand since 1984.

PSU Reaches 20-win Plateau
With two wins over the weekend, Penn State has reached the 20-win plateau for the 31st consecutive season in the program's 32-year history. The only season the Nittany Lions did not reach the mark was in 1976 when the team played just 20 total matches.

Reineke Blocks Her Way Up the Charts
Wisconsin senior Taylor Reineke moved into fifth on the Big Ten's all-time blocks list and second in Wisconsin's record books with 20 stuffs over the weekend, giving her 624 in her career. Reineke owns the highest blocks total in the Big Ten with 125 this season and is the only active conference player with more than 600 stuffs to her name.

Gopher Fans Converge Upon Williams
fans came out in droves to support the Golden Gophers as they took on Ohio State in a match televised live by the Big Ten Network on Saturday. The crowd of 6,285 at Williams Arena marked the fourth-largest crowd in school history and is one of the top 20 attended matches in the country this season. Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation in average attendance in 2007.

Hardin Rapidly Approaching Milestone
Illinois head coach Don Hardin is just two wins away from his 400th career victory, owning a 398-225 record in his 20th season as a head coach. Earlier this year, Hardin earned his 200th win at Illinois and is now 206-149 in his 12th season with the Orange and Blue.

Big Ten in the Polls
Penn State
received the top spot in the most recent AVCA/CSTV Coaches Poll, marking the last time since Sept. 27, 2004 that a Big Ten team was ranked first in the nation (Minnesota) and the first time since 1999 that the Nittany Lions earned the top billing. Wisconsin is up one spot from last week to No. 7, while Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota are all receiving votes outside the top 25. The Big Ten has placed at least two teams in the nation's top 10 in each of the last 10 weeks.