Nov. 21, 2005
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
With Trophy Secured, PSU Now Looking at 20-0
Since 1985 when double round-robin play was instituted in the Big Ten, only five times has the conference champion gone undefeated. This week, No. 2 Penn State has a chance to reach the perfect mark as it travels to Michigan State on Friday and Michigan on Saturday. Penn State, which clinched the outright league title two weeks ago, recorded perfect 20-0 seasons in 1998 and 1999 and is two wins away from its third perfect season in Big Ten play.
1986 Illinois 18-0
1988 Illinois 18-0
1991 Ohio State 20-0
1998 Penn State 20-0
1999 Penn State 20-0
Wednesday's Wild One
This week's action begins on Wednesday with Wisconsin traveling to red-hot Northwestern. The Wildcats are on their first six-match Big Ten winning streak since 1983. Their current winning streak matches its longest of the season and has a chance to reach seven against the No. 14 Badgers on Wednesday.
Comcast SportsNet to Air Purdue-Minnesota
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will broadcast its final Big Ten volleyball match of the season as No. 22 Purdue travels to No. 17 Minnesota. The match will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT, while the taped-delay airing of the match can be seen on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT. In the teams' first meeting this season, Purdue defeated Minnesota, 3-1.
Five Big Ten Schools Ranked in Nation's Top 25
For the 10th consecutive week, five Big Ten teams are ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. No. 2 Penn State earned one first-place vote this week, while Wisconsin (14), Minnesota (17), Ohio State (19) and Purdue (22) all found spots among the top 25 this week. For the second straight week, Northwestern has received votes in the poll.
Four League Teams Rank Among Top 10 For Fans
In the unofficial national attendance figures, which are compiled weekly by the University of Wisconsin, the Big Ten boasts four teams among the top 10 schools in the nation, which is more than any other conference. Minnesota (No. 3) is currently averaging 3,968 patrons per match, while Wisconsin (4), Penn State (5) and Purdue (9) follow in the top 10.
Buckeyes Look to Join 20-Win Club
With one win this week, Ohio State (19-8) could become the fifth Big Ten team (PSU: 27-2, PUR: 22-7, MINN: 22-7, WIS: 21-6) with 20 or more wins this season, tying the 15-team Big East as the only major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC) that have had five teams eclipse the mark. The Big Ten had five teams conclude the 2004 campaign with 20 or more wins.
Big Ten Ranks Among NCAA Leaders
Several Big Ten standouts and teams are nationally ranked in many categories. As of Nov. 13, three student-athletes rank in the top 30 in assists, blocks, digs and kills, while one ranks in the top 30 in hitting percentage. Illinois' Rachel VanMeter (5.55) is the highest-ranked conference individual at No. 5 in kills per game. On the team side, three Big Ten squads rank among the top 30 in assists, blocks and kills, while two rate in hitting percentage.
Two Standouts Eyeing Career Top-10 in Assists
A pair of Big Ten standouts -- Penn State's Sam Tortorello and Purdue's Renata Dargan -- is quickly approaching the league's career mark for assists. Currently, Tortorello has 5,863 career assists, which ranks fourth in conference history. Dargan's total of 5,704 is seventh-best all-time in the league. Both players have a legitimate shot at breaking the Big Ten's all-time career assists mark of 6,024, currently held by Minnesota's Sharon Oesterling from 1986-89.
Player (Years) - Kills
1. Sharon Oesterling, MINN (1986-89) - 6,024
2. Becky Bauer, MINN (1994-97) - 5,918
3. Bonnie Bremner, PSU (1996-99) - 5,911
4. Sam Tortorello, PSU (2002-PR) - 5,863
5. Laura Abbinante, WIS (1993-96) - 5,833
6. Lindsey Berg, MINN (1998-01) - 5,799
7. Renata Dargan, PUR (2002-PR) - 5,704
Minnesota's Gentil Closing in on NCAA Digs Mark
Minnesota senior Paula Gentil is 55 digs from tying Hartford's Kim Diehlmann (1989-92) for the NCAA record career digs. Gentil has 2,725, while Diehlmann has 2,780. Gentil and Houston's Jaci Gonzalez are the only active liberos to have 500 digs in all four seasons of their career.