Eight Big Ten volleyball teams qualified for the 2016 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Nebraska claimed the top seed in the tournament while Minnesota and Wisconsin drew the second and third seeds, respectively. Michigan State is the ninth seed, while Michigan claimed the 12th seed and Penn State earned the 16th seed. Ohio State and Purdue also collected at-large berths into the tournament.
Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin will host first- and second-round matches. Nebraska, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin all are ranked in the top 10 in average attendance, while Michigan ranks 34th in the nation.
Minnesota claimed the top spot in the latest AVCA Volleyball Coaches Poll for the second time this season. Five additional Big Ten programs appear among the top 25: No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 13 Penn State, No. 15 Michigan State and No. 17 Michigan. Ohio State and Purdue are receiving votes in the poll.
Nebraska, Penn State and Washington are all in the same quarter of the NCAA Tournament Bracket. Those three schools have combined to win nine of the last 11 NCAA Championships with Penn State collecting six (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014), Nebraska winning twice (2006, 2015) and Washington earning one championship (2005).
Minnesota, Nebraska and Penn State all rank among the top 10 in team hitting percentage. Penn State ranks fifth with a hitting percentage of .290, while Minnesota is sixth with the same mark. Nebraska is seventh, hitting at a clip of .289.
Nebraska currently holds eight of the top 10, and 11 of the top 15, single-match attendance marks this season, eclipsing over 8,000 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center 12 times.
Michigan State currently ranks second in the country, averaging 1.94 service aces per set. The Spartans have served up 212 total aces, good for fourth in the country.
Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini ranks fifth in the country with 11.77 assists per set while Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson is ninth with 11.55 assists per set.