Six Big Ten volleyball programs remain in the hunt for a national championship. Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin will all play in Sweet 16 matches on Friday. The Huskers and Nittany Lions will square off, while the Buckeyes and Badgers will go head-to-head. Michigan will take on Creighton and Minnesota will face Missouri.
Thirty-two Big Ten students earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region honors. Of those 32, 24 were first team selections while eight earned honorable mention recognition. In addition, Nebraska’s John Cook and Wisconsin’s Kelly Sheffield earned AVCA Region Coach of the Year honors for the North and Northeast regions, respectively.
Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin will host NCAA regional semifinal and final matches. All three teams currently rank among the top 10 in average attendance.
Of the Big Ten programs still alive in the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska and Penn State have combined for 11 national titles. Both the Huskers and Nittany Lions have made 12 Final Four appearances, while Minnesota has been to the national semifinals four times and Wisconsin has advanced to the Final Four twice. Ohio State has also made a pair of Final Four appearances, while Michigan has made one trip.
Wisconsin’s Haleigh Nelson has been errorless through six sets in the NCAA Tournament. She has knocked down 19 total kills on 30 attempts, hitting at a clip of .633. In addition, Nelson has also totaled 14 blocks, averaging 2.33 blocks per set.
Nebraska’s Justine Wong-Orantes is averaging 6.33 digs per set in NCAA Tournament play, digging 38 total attack attempts in six sets.
As a team in NCAA Tournament play, Michigan is hitting at a clip of .370, a mark that leads all Big Ten programs in the postseason.
The Nittany Lions have recorded 11 service aces in two NCAA Tournament matches, led by Abby Detering with five.