Nov. 15, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Faces of the Big Ten
Rachael Davis, Purdue
R-Fr., S, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Rachel is one dedicated woman. Not only did she work hard in the gym last year, making both her team and herself better while redshirting the season, but she works hard off the court as well. Rachel spent six years re-building a Corvette with her dad. So far in 2010, Rachel has dished out 60 assists and managed 12 digs, three blocks, five kills and an ace, while seeing action in seven matches. She even earned the start again Tulane, Sept. 4.
With just two weekends of play remaining in the regular season, two conference squads are tied at the top of the standings in a race for the Big Ten Championship. Following a Penn State victory over Illinois last weekend, the two teams are tied at 13-3. The Nittany Lions and Illini each face a ranked opponent this weekend, with each match being broadcast by the Big Ten Network. The two are a part of nine Big Ten contests that will produced for a national audience this week, including seven that will be streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Where We Rank
Seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including five that once again rank among the top 25 in the nation. Penn State and Illinois appear in the top 10 this week, with Penn State moving up one spot to No. 7 and Illinois remaining at No. 9. Minnesota checks in at No. 19, Michigan appears at No. 20 and Northwestern enters the poll at No. 25. Ohio State and Purdue are among the other squads receiving votes this week.
Up in the RPI
The Big Ten is a national leader in the latest Ratings Percentage Index, as eight conference teams rank among the top 38 in the national rankings. Five Big Ten teams appear in the top 20, the most of any conference in the nation, including three in the top 9. Illinois checks in at No. 2, Penn State appears at No. 4 and Minnesota is No. 9. Northwestern and Purdue round out the conference squads in the top 20 with the Boilermakers at No. 15 and the Wildcats at No. 19.
Minnesota and Ohio State Hit 20
With victories last week, Minnesota and Ohio State join the ranks of the 20-win club this season, bringing the Big Ten total to five. Illinois, Michigan and Penn State had already reached the 20-win mark, and Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue are within two victories each of clinching their 20th triumphs of the year.
With Iowa’s victory over No. 20 Michigan last weekend, each conference squad now has at least one victory over a team ranked in the AVCA coaches poll this season. Eight Big Ten teams have at least two wins over a top-25 team, while six have won at least three matches against ranked opponents. Penn State boasts the conference’s best mark against ranked teams, holding a 6-2 mark against top-25 squads.
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.
Thank you Big Ten 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 four conference schools average 2,000 or more fans per contest. Wisconsin ranks third nationally with 3,761 fans per contest, followed immediately by Penn State (3,512), while Minnesota (2,987) is sixth with Illinois at No. 11 (2,238).
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.