Nov. 8, 2004
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Purdue Tops Indiana to Begin This Week's League Play
Big Ten began this week with Purdue (13-2, 6-9 Big Ten) defeating intrastate rival Indiana (8-18, 2-13) in a 3-2 nailbiter. The win marked a season sweep for the Boilermakers over Indiana. In other key matches scheduled for this week, No. 4 Penn State (21-2, 12-2) and No. 8 Ohio State (22-2, 12-2) will host Northwestern (8-16, 3-11) and Wisconsin (16-6, 10-4) , while No. 5 Minnesota (22-4, 11-3) travels to Michigan (17-8, 7-7) and Michigan State (10-12, 5-9).
Three Conference Teams Rank Among Top 10
For the fifth time this season and only the sixth time in Big Ten history, three teams rank in the top 10 nationally. In the latest USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll, Penn State is ranked No. 4, followed by Minnesota at No. 5 and No. 8 Ohio State. Illinois is the fourth Big Ten school ranked in the top 25 as the Fighting Illini are currently 25th. Wisconsin was the leading vote recipient outside the top 25.
PSU's Nadeau Named AVCA National Player of the Week
For the third time this season, a Big Ten student-athlete has been recognized as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Division I Player of the Week. Current Big Ten Player of the Week, Syndie Nadeau of Penn State, earned the honor this week, marking the Nittany Lions' first-ever National Player of the Week award in the history of the program. Minnesota's Kelly Bowman, a sophomore setter who was named Big Ten co-Player of the Week on October 25, also earned the weekly AVCA national award as well as Ohio State's Stacey Gordon on September 13.
Illinois' Nickname: Fighting Illini or Streak Busters?
There is no question that Illinois has lived up to its nickname "Fighting Illini" this season, but some would argue that a more appropriate nickname for the Orange & Blue would be "Streak Busters." Illinois has ended three notable streaks by its opponents this season.
On October 23, Illinois knocked a team from the ranks of the unbeaten for the second time this season. The No. 24 Fighting Illini upset No. 7 Ohio State, 3-0, in Champaign, 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 against OSU marked the first time since 1995 that Illinois had defeated two Top 10 teams in the same season when the Illini knocked off No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Ohio State in back-to-back nights.
Most recently, Illinois swept Wisconsin -- a team that entered the November 5th match a winner of eight straight. A week prior to the Illinois match, Wisconsin upset second-ranked Minnesota, 3-2.
Opponent ... Streak ... W/L ... Date
#1 USC ... 52 ... W, 3-2 ... 9/11/04
#7 OHIO STATE ... 19 ... W, 3-0 ... 10/23/04
WISCONSIN ... 8 ... W, 3-0 ... 11/5/04
Illini Head Coach Don Hardin Earns 350th Career Victory
In sweeping Wisconsin on November 5, Illinois gave head coach Don Hardin his 350th career victory. Hardin is the eighth Big Ten mentor to reach a coaching milestone this season (See Page 5). Hardin, who is in his 17th year as a head coach, spent eight seasons at Louisville before spending the past nine at Illinois.
Gophers Say Just Bring it
Minnesota has built a record of 22-5 this season, with seven of those 24 matches coming against top 25 competition. Currently, Minnesota holds a record of 6-3 versus top 20 teams and a 5-2 record against teams in the top 15.
Opponent (Now Ranked) ... W/L ... Date
#1 USC (6) ... L, 2-3 ... 8/28/04
#4 Penn State (4) ... W, 3-2 ... 10/2/04
#4 Florida (7) ... W, 3-2 ... 9/11/04
#6 Penn State (4) ... L, 1-3 ... 11/5/04
#7 Ohio State (8) ... W, 3-1 ... 11/6/04
#11 Colorado State (10) ... W, 3-1 ... 8/27/04
#15 Kansas State (20) ... W, 3-2 ... 9/10/04
#16 Ohio State (8) ... L, 1-3 ... 10/1/04
#23 Illinois (25) ... W, 3-1 ... 10/16/04
Minnesota's Hebert Seven Wins Shy of 800
Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert stands just seven wins away from the 800th-victory milestone only seven total and four active coaches have ever reached. Hebert, in his ninth year at Minnesota, has recorded a career record of 793-338 (.701), as head coach of the Gophers, Illinois (1983-95), New Mexico (1980-82) and Pittsburgh (1976-79).
Penn State head coach Russ Rose is also one of the four active coaches to have reached 800 wins as he eclipsed the mark in the Nittany Lions' season opener. On September 3, PSU swept Rutgers 3-0, to make Rose 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 (.846, Hawaii's Dave Shoji-.850) and third all-time in victories (820).
Minnesota Split Pair of Top-Ten Big Ten Matchups
For the 18th and 19th time in Big Ten history and the third and fourth occasion this season, two Conference teams ranked in the top 10 nationally battled against one another. No. 6 Penn State topped No. 5 Minnesota on November 5, 3-1, but rebounded to top Ohio State in four games on November 6.
Earlier in the year, Minnesota met both teams in historic matches. Against Ohio State, then top-ranked Minnesota fell to the Buckeyes, 3-1, with the outcome bumping the Gophers from the top spot the following week. Minnesota rebounded the next night at Penn State when the Gophers brought their No. 1 ranking into State College and defeated then-No. 4 Penn State, 3-2. The match marked the highest-ranking matchup in 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.
ALL-TIME BIG TEN TOP-10 MEETINGS
Match (19 occasions) Date
#7 Ohio State at #2 Minnesota 11/6/04
#6 Penn State at #2 Minnesota 11/5/04
#7 Ohio State vs. #5 Penn State 10/20/04
#1 Minnesota vs. #4 Penn State 10/2/04
#9 Minnesota vs. #8 Penn State 10/19/02
#7 Minnesota vs. #6 Wisconsin 10/28/00
#2 Penn State vs. #6 Wisconsin 10/10/98
#2 Penn State vs. #6 Wisconsin 11/6/98
#1 Penn State vs. #7 Wisconsin 10/31/97
#1 Penn State vs. #10 Wisconsin 10/4/97
#2 Penn State vs. #7 Michigan State 10/11/96
#6 Penn State vs. #5 Michigan State 11/9/96
#6 Penn State vs. #10 Ohio State 11/1/95
#7 Penn State vs. #6 Michigan State 10/21/95
#8 Penn State vs. #7 Michigan State 11/17/95
#6 Ohio State vs. #7 Michigan State 11/18/95
#2 Penn State vs. #6 Ohio State 9/21/94
#4 Ohio State vs. #5 Penn State 11/29/94
#6 Illinois vs. #9 Penn State 11/27/92
Badgers Upset Minnesota in Madison
Wisconsin upset No. 2 Minnesota October 30 in a thrilling 3-2 match in Madison. The win, which was Wisconsin's seventh straight, was witnessed by a season-high crowd of 5,136 at the UW Field House and marked the first time since 2001 that the Badgers had beaten an opponent ranked as high as No. 2, when they last did it against USC.
Michigan State's Erbe Earns 550th Career Win
Michigan State head coach Chuck Erbe earned his 550th career win on 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 1976-1988, 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 on October 22, 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.
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 (1,856) and season (626) digs list. Gentil is now just 64 digs out of second place (1,920 - Susan Wohlford, Wisconsin, 1988-91) and 75 away from the all-time Big Ten record (1,931 - Janet Moylan, Iowa, 1987-90). She is also just 30 digs shy of breaking her own Big Ten single-season record of 656 set last season. 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.
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. Her record-breaking kill came on her 27th of 31 kills against the Wolverines. Gordon currently stands at 2,541 kills for her career, which is sixth on the NCAA Division I career kills list. She stands 134 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 (92-95, 488) 3,043
2. Javonne Brooks, New Orleans (89-92, 597) 2,932
3. Tara Cross, Long Beach State (86-89, 488) 2,767
4. Michelle Collier, South Florida (98-02, 481) 2,729
5. Priscilla Pacheco, Georgia (91-94, 480) 2,675
6. Stacey Gordon, Ohio State (01-Pres., 420) 2,541
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 1,728 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 1,599 kills. Michigan's Jennifer Gandolph (1,490) is also quickly approaching the 1,500-kill mark.
Gopher Setter Tabbed AVCA National Player of the Week
Minnesota's Kelly Bowman, a sophomore setter who was named Big Ten co-Player of the Week on October 25, also earned national recognition as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Division I Player of the Week. The honor mark 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.
Ohio State Wins 3-2 Thriller in Battle of Top 10 Teams
No. 7 Ohio State topped then-No. 5 Penn State, 3-2, in State College on October 20 in the 17th match in League history two Big Ten teams ranked in the nation's top 10 battled in Conference action. On October 2, 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.
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 (6) and Michigan's Lisa Gamalski (3) as the only League players to record at least one triple-double this season.
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.
Big Ten Ranks Among Nation's Best
As of November 7, 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 (7.22), while teammate Marisa Main is third in the country in assists per game (14.73). Minnesota's Paula Gentil ranks third currently in digs with 6.52 per game. In team categories, Ohio State ranks second in the nation in assists per game (16.90) followed by Minnesota (16.17) at No. 5 and Penn State (16.09) at No. 8. OSU also holds the nation's best mark in kills per game (18.40) and is second in hitting percentage (.319).
Bowman on Top of Game Versus Top-Ranked Competition
Minnesota's Kelly Bowman has tallied six 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. Bowman also delivered 16 kills, 21 digs and 34 assists at No. 4 Penn State on October 2. Most recently, she recorded 17 kills, 10 digs and 26 assists at Wisconsin in the Gophers' 3-2 loss on October 30.
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
On two occasions 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.
Crashing The Net
In the past four weeks, three Big Ten season highs have been recorded at the net by League standouts. Three weeks ago, 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.
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.
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.
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 22-2 record this season, Stone has a career mark of 513-301 (.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 412 career wins and ranks near the top 10 in winning percentage at .740 (412-145) overall.