Nov. 3, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
ASHLEY EDINGER, Illinois
Jr., Michigan City, Ind. / Michigan City High School
Edinger has gained national acclaim in volleyball, but actually owns a national championship in another sport -- football. The native of Michigan City, Ind., was the winner of the 2001 National Punt & Kick competition. On the volleyball court, Edinger broke the Illinois career digs record as a junior and is on pace for over 2,100 for her career, which would be fourth on the Big Ten’s all-time list. The Academic All-Big Ten selection is majoring in molecular & cellular biology and is planning to attend medical school.
The Pursuit of Perfection
Penn State is one of just two teams in the nation undefeated in matches and the only team in the country that has yet to drop a single set. The Nittany Lions have won their last 50 matches, needing just two more wins to tie the NCAA record of 52, set by USC from 2002-04. PSU is also second in the NCAA records book in consecutive set wins with 73, trailing only Florida’s mark of 105. At 12-0 in conference play, the Nittany Lions look to become the first team to post back-to-back undefeated Big Ten seasons since the 1998-99 PSU squads. PSU has won its last 37 conference matches, which is the fourth-longest streak in Big Ten history.
Can You Dig It?
Illinois junior libero Ashley Edinger became the program’s all-time digs leader on Saturday, now boasting 1,442 in her career. Already ranking 16th on the Big Ten’s all-time list with more than a year of eligibility remaining, Edinger is on pace to crack the conference’s top four in the category.
Three hours north of Edinger in Champaign, Northwestern’s Kate Nobilio became just the second Wildcat to crack the 1,500 career digs mark over the weekend, now with 1,541 in her career, sitting at 13th all-time in the Big Ten and second at Northwestern.
Indiana’s win over No. 13 Minnesota marked the first time since 2002 that Indiana has defeated two ranked Big Ten teams in the same season. Combined with the Hoosiers’ win over then-No. 21 Wisconsin on Oct. 26, Indiana has defeated ranked Big Ten opponents on back-to-back weekends for the first time since at least 2000. Indiana’s win over the 13th-ranked Gophers marked the program’s highest-ranked win since Sept. 25, 2002, when IU defeated No. 11 Ohio State.
Penn State Joins NCAA Century Club
Penn State became just the sixth NCAA Division I women’s volleyball program to reach 1,000 wins on Saturday night with a three-set sweep over Iowa at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions join UCLA (1,074), Nebraska (1,048), Missouri State (1,042), Brigham Young (1,027) and Long Beach State (1,018) as the only programs to have reached the milestone.
Home Sweet Home
Big Ten teams combined to go 10-1 (.909) at home last week, improving the conference’s overall home record to 83-30 (.735). In Big Ten matches, conference teams are 40-26 (.606) on their home courts. Four Big Ten squads have one loss or fewer at home, including 13-0 Penn State. Iowa, Michigan and Purdue have dropped just one match each on their home floors.
View from the Top
Penn State is once again the No. 1 team in the country according to the Bison/AVCA coaches’ poll released on Monday. The Nittany Lions are enjoying their 18th consecutive week at the top spot. Purdue moved up two spots to No. 18, while Illinois jumped one position to No. 16, marking the highest ranking for the Illini since Sept. 20, 2004, when they came in at No. 13.
Big Ten. Big Blocks.
The Big Ten continues to boast the nation’s toughest block with three individuals and three teams among the top 10 in the NCAA in blocks per set. The Big Ten is the only conference in the nation with three players averaging over 1.50 blocks per set. Illinois’ Johannah Bangert is tops in the country with a 1.61 bps average, followed by No. 4 Christa Harmotto of Penn State (1.52) and No. 7 Ashley Benson of Indiana (1.51). Penn State is the NCAA’s leading blocking team with 3.22 stuffs per set, followed by No. 7 Minnesota (2.87) and No. 9 Illinois (2.82).
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. This week’s schedule features three matches live on the Big Ten Network. Action begins on Wednesday as the surging Hoosiers take on No. 1 Penn State in State College. The Big Ten Network will televise a volleyball doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. ET as No. 20 Michigan hosts Wisconsin, continuing at 8 p.m. ET as Northwestern travels to Ohio State.