Nov. 2, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Faces of the Big Ten
Carli Weiler, Michigan State
Jr., LIB, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Growing up, junior Carli Weiler used her right hand for everything in everyday life. However, at the age of 14, Weiler was had surgery on her right arm to remove built-up scar tissue due to chronic pain and locking of the elbow. After extensive physical therapy, Weiler’s arm continued to lock up and cause her significant pain. Looking to continue her playing career from high school onto the collegiate ranks, Weiler was forced to use her non-dominant left hand when playing volleyball. To this day, aside from volleyball, Weiler still uses her right hand for everything else.
The Big Ten has crossed the halfway point of its conference season, and Illinois, at 11-1 in the Big Ten, is two matches ahead of the rest of the competition with eight to play. Michigan and Penn State boast 9-3 conference marks and are tied for second in the Big Ten. The second-place tie will be broken on Friday night when the two ranked squads face off in Ann Arbor. Also, seven Big Ten matches will produced for a national audience this week, one on ESPN2, two on the Big Ten Network and four online at www.bigtennetwork.com. Televised action begins on Wednesday when Wisconsin travels to Big Ten leader Illinois for a 7 p.m. ET start.
Where We Rank
The Big Ten is once again well-represented in the latest AVCA Division I National Coaches Poll as eight conference teams are mentioned. Five conference squads rank among the top 25, including top 10 members No. 6 Illinois and No. 9 Penn State, who both maintain their rankings from a week ago. Michigan remains at No. 15 this week, Minnesota moves up one spot to No. 19, and Northwestern holds its No. 24 ranking from the previous week. Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue are among teams also receiving votes.
Up in the RPI
The Big Ten is a national leader in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, as 10 conference teams are rated among the top 52 squads in the nation. Five Big Ten teams rank in the top 20, the most of any conference in the nation, with the Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC with three each. Illinois and Penn State rank second and fourth, respectively, Minnesota is 12th, while Purdue and Northwestern round out the top 20 at Nos. 17 and 20, respectively.
Big Ten teams and individual standouts have consistently ranked among the nation’s best in numerous statistical categories this season. The latest NCAA standings have Penn State in the top 10 in hitting percentage (third, .306) and blocks per set (seventh, 2.93), while several student-athletes also rank among the top 10 in various statistical categories. Ohio State’s Emily Danks leads the nation in aces per set (0.70), Penn State’s Arielle Wilson is fourth in hitting percentage (.435) and Indiana’s Ashley Benson is seventh (.420) in the same category, while Northwestern’s Sabel Moffett is seventh nationally in blocks per set (1.44).
Thanks to the Fans
Big Ten fans continue to be some of the most dedicated in the nation with four conference squads ranking among the nation’s top 11 teams in average home attendance this season. Additionally, eight of the top 25 schools in home attendance hail from the Big Ten, and three conference schools average 3,000 or more fans per contest. Wisconsin ranks third nationally with 3,7601 fans per contest, followed immediately by Penn State (3,602) and Minnesota (3,065) with Illinois at No. 11 (2,311).
This and That
Michigan reached the 20-win mark faster than any other team in program history, needing 24 matches to do so … Northwestern’s Sabel Moffett reached the 1,000-kill mark against Minnesota over the weekend … Penn State extended its home winning streak to a national-best 86 consecutive matches.
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 is enjoying 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.