Dec. 1, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
Eight Big Ten volleyball teams were selected for NCAA Championship competition when the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship bracket was announced on Sunday. The eight conference selections are tied for the most in Big Ten history and are the most among all conferences in this year’s field. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue all earned invites to this championship bracket. Four teams – Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue – earned top 16 seeds in tournament, tied with the SEC for the most of any conference. First- and second-round contests are scheduled for Dec. 2-4 at various campus sites.
Eight is Great
When it was announced that eight conference teams were chosen to the NCAA Championship, it marked a historic achievement for Big Ten volleyball. The eight selected teams tied for the most postseason appearances in conference history, accomplishing the feat for the third time since 1999. Eight teams were selected to the NCAA Championship field in 1999 and 2002. It was also the 12th time in the last 13 seasons the Big Ten has sent six or more teams to the championship field.
Hosts of the Party
Five Big Ten schools will serve as hosts during the first two rounds of 2010 NCAA Championship, including all four seeded conference teams. National seeds No. 8 Illinois, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 4 Penn State and No. 16 Purdue will all welcome teams to their respective home courts this weekend, while Indiana will also serve as one of two host institutions in the Dayton, Ohio, Regional.
Taking Advantage of the Home Court
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue have each enjoyed the confines of their home courts this season, where each has posted 11 or more wins. The five teams boast a combined record of 66-8, an .892 winning percentage, at home this season. Four of the five host sites – Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue – rank among the top 15 in attendance this season and average more than 2,000 fans per home contest.
Defending What’s Theirs
Winner of the last three NCAA Championships, Penn State eyes a chance at a four-peat this season. The Nittany Lions became the first team to win three consecutive titles last season and has four overall in their history. Penn State won the conference’s first national championship in 1999.
Where We Rank
Seven Big Ten teams are mentioned in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Poll, including five that are ranked among the top 25 in the nation. Penn State appears at No. 8 this week, while Minnesota moves up three spots to No. 12. Illinois checks in at No. 14 with Michigan ranked 23rd and Purdue entering the ranks this week at No. 25. Northwestern and Ohio State are among the other squads receiving votes this week.
Seven Teams Reach 20 Wins
The Big Ten boasts seven squads that have reached the 20-win mark, and another is one win away from joining the club. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue notched their 20th victories earlier this season, while Northwestern (19) still has an opportunity to reach the landmark. Only once before in conference history have seven Big Ten teams reached the 20-win mark, the first occurring in 1987, and never have eight conference teams achieved the feat in the same season.
This season, each conference squad has recorded at least one victory over a team ranked in the AVCA coaches poll this season. Nine Big Ten teams have at least two wins over a top-25 team, while all eight NCAA Championship-qualifying teams have won three or more matches against ranked opponents. Five of the eight have recorded four wins over the top 25 with Penn State recording seven triumphs over ranked foes this season.
Thank you Big Ten Fans
Big Ten fans continued to be some of the most dedicated in the nation with six conference squads ranking among the nation’s top 15 teams in average home attendance this season. Additionally, nine of the top 32 schools in home attendance hail from the Big Ten, and six conference schools average 2,000 or more fans per contest. Wisconsin ranks third nationally with 3,737 fans per contest, followed immediately by Penn State (3,333), while Minnesota (3,055) is fifth, Michigan State is 11th (2,279) with Illinois at No. 13 (2,171) and Purdue at No. 15 (2,062).