Nov. 12, 2007
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The 2007 season of Big Ten volleyball is coming down the home stretch with just two weekends of competition remaining. No. 1 Penn State could clinch a share of its fifth-straight Big Ten title with a win over No. 9 Wisconsin on Friday.
Big Ten on TV
The Big Ten Network will televise a live broadcast of the second meeting between in-state rivals Indiana and Purdue as the Hoosiers travel to West Lafayette for a 6 p.m. CT matchup. The network televised the first meeting between the two squads on Oct. 17, as Indiana earned a 3-1 win. The Hoosiers are 1-0 in games televised by the network while Purdue is 1-1. The Big Ten Network announced its wildcard selection last week and will add the Nov. 24 match between Penn State and Michigan to its broadcast schedule.
PSU Could Clinch Title Share Friday
With a win over Wisconsin on Friday, Penn State would clinch a share of the Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions have won the conference championship in each of the last four seasons, dating back to 2003. PSU is undefeated entering the ninth week of conference action for the fifth time in 17 years.
Volleyball Standouts Excel off the Court
Eight Big Ten volleyball players received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced last week. Penn State's Christa Harmotto and Ohio State's Danielle Meyer were first-team members in Districts II and IV, respectively, while Iowa's Emily Hiza, PSU's Melissa Walbridge, Purdue's Danita Merlau and Wisconsin's Taylor Reineke and Jocelyn Wack were second-team members, and Michigan's Stesha Selsky earned third-team recognition.
Gophers Coming on Strong in Second Half
After posting back-to-back wins for the first time since Sept. 30 and Oct. 5, Minnesota is up from sixth and tied for third in the conference standings. Strong down the stretch, the Gophers are 42-14 in the second half of conference play dating back to 2002.
Badgers Still Alive in Title Hunt
Looking for its first conference championship since 2000, Wisconsin remains in contention for the Big Ten title. The Badgers currently sit two games out of first place, behind Penn State, and need to win against the Nittany Lions on Friday to remain in the hunt.
Illini Look to Give Hardin No. 400 on the Road
Illinois head coach Don Hardin is poised to become the seventh active Big Ten coach with 400 career victories, currently sitting at 399-228 in his 20th overall season. The Illini look to give their mentor the milestone win on the road this weekend as they face Ohio State and Penn State. Illinois is 8-3 overall on the road and 6-2 away from Huff Hall in conference matches.
Big Ten Draws Big Crowds
The Big Ten boasts three of the nation's top five attendance leaders as Wisconsin is second in the country, averaging 5,441 fans per contest, Minnesota is fourth (3,218) and Penn State is fifth (2,988). The Big Ten also has more teams than any other conference ranked in the top 12 in attendance as Purdue comes in at No. 11 (2,084).
Big Ten in the Polls
For the 12th time this season, the Big Ten claims two of the top 10 teams in the nation as Penn State sits at No. 1 for the third-straight week and Wisconsin is up two spots to No. 9. Four other conference squads are receiving national recognition outside the top 25 as Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue are all receiving votes.