Nov. 17, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
FACES OF THE BIG TEN
Katherine Dykstra, Wisconsin
Jr., Wilmette, Ill. / New Trier
Katherine is a very talented musician and is actively involved in several service groups. She is an accomplished bassoon player and is a member of the symphony and chamber orchestras on campus. Her fantasy job is to one day play in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is also a social work major and is a member of Young Life, which is a non-denominational Christian youth group. Her post-college plans include traveling and possibly doing missionary work through a church as a social worker.
PSU Clinches Title Share
With a sweep over No. 18 Purdue on Saturday, Penn State clinched at least a share of its sixth consecutive Big Ten title and the program’s 12th overall since joining the conference for the 1991 season. PSU is the only program in the Big Ten to win three or more consecutive titles. In addition to their current run, Penn State grabbed four straight crowns from 1996-99. The Nittany Lions can clinch this year’s title outright with a win at home against Northwestern on Friday. PSU now looks to become the first team since the 1998-99 Nittany Lion squads to finish the conference season undefeated in back-to-back seasons.
Nittany Lions Break NCAA Record
With a sweep at No. 17 Illinois on Friday, Penn State broke the NCAA record for consecutive matches won with their 53rd straight victory. The previous record of 52 was set by USC from 2002-04. With a win against Purdue on Saturday, the Nittany Lions’ current NCAA record stands at 54 consecutive match wins. PSU has also won its last 85 straight sets, which ranks second in the NCAA records book, behind Florida’s mark of 105 set in 2003.
Big Ten Network to Announce Season Honors
The Big Ten Network will air the exclusive announcement of the 2008 All-Big Ten volleyball team and individual awards on Monday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Women’s Show. In addition to All-Big Ten honorees, the network will announce the conference Player, Defensive Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year.
With a win over Indiana on Saturday, Illinois became the fifth Big Ten team to reach the 20-wins marker. Illinois captures its first 20-win season since 2003, while the Big Ten has five 20-win squads for the seventh time in the past eight years.
With wins over the weekend, Michigan and Purdue each recorded their 10th conference victories, giving the Big Ten five teams guaranteed to finish .500 or better in conference play. The conference has had five or more .500 finishers in each of the past 10 years, including eight squads finishing at .500 or higher in conference play in 2002.
Big Ten Block Party
The Big Ten continues to own the nation’s toughest block with seven players in the top 30, including three in the top 10, in the NCAA in blocks per set. Illinois’ Johannah Bangert leads all of Division I with a 1.56 bps average. On the team level, seven Big Ten squads rank in the NCAA’s top 35, including Penn State, who leads the country with 3.29 bps.
She’s a Killer
Indiana’s Erica Short became the program’s all-time kills leader on Friday as she recorded her 1,809th career tally, surpassing the previous school record held by Christina Archibald (2001-04). Short’s career tally of 1,826 ranks among the top 15 in the conference all-time.
Packing the House
Michigan defeated in-state rival Michigan State, 3-1, on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 1,850 at Cliff Keen Arena. The sellout was the first at the venue since Oct. 5, 2007, when the Wolverines defeated the Spartans, 3-0.
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 two matches on the Big Ten Network. Action begins on Wednesday as Purdue hosts Illinois live at 7 p.m. ET. The Boilermakers are 1-3 in TV games while the Illini are 1-0 with a 3-0 win in the two teams’ previous matchup on Oct. 22 in Champaign. On Saturday, the Big Ten Network will take the Wisconsin at Penn State match and air it on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The Badgers are 2-2 in nationally televised contests, while the Nittany Lions are 6-0.