Press Release courtesy of the Big Ten Conference
Conference play continues this weekend with all 14 teams in action. Five matches will be carried on BTN and ESPNU, with most of the remaining contests streaming on BTN Plus.
• Six Big Ten programs earned spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, with five teams ranked among the top 10: No. 1 Penn State, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 17 Purdue. Illinois and Michigan are both receiving votes in the poll.
• Since the 2012 season, four Big Ten schools (Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been ranked No. 1 in the AVCA coaches poll a total of 45 weeks. During that span, the Nittany Lions have earned the top spot 23 times.
• Michigan State setter Rachel Minarick became the third player in school history and 45th in Big Ten annals to record 4,000 career assists on Oct. 21. In the Spartans’ straight-set victory over Maryland, Minarick posted 39 assists, three kills, hit .400, posted 10 digs, and an ace in the match to earn her fifth double-double.
• Based on past opponents’ winning percentage, Ohio State has played the third-toughest schedule in the nation, while Wisconsin has played the fourth-toughest schedule. Nebraska is eighth on the list, Minnesota is ninth and Penn State checks in at No. 12 out of 334 teams.
• Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 of the NCAA RPI as of Monday, including six of the top 20: No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan State, No. 20 Purdue, No. 23 Illinois, No. 29 Michigan, No. 31 Ohio State, No. 42 Iowa and No. 45 Maryland.
• Big Ten teams currently occupy five of the top 15 positions on the national team hitting percentage list, including three of the top five spots. Penn State leads the country with a .351 hitting percentage, followed by Purdue (.321) in fourth and Wisconsin (.302) in eighth. Illinois checks in at No. 11, hitting at a .291 clip. Minnesota rounds out the list at No. 12 in the NCAA, boasting a .288 team hitting percentage.
• Illinois junior middle blocker Ali Bastianelli has currently registered 124 total blocks in 70 sets to lead the conference and the NCAA with a 1.77 blocks per set average. Minnesota’s Molly Lohman ranks 12th nationally, averaging 1.51 blocks per set.
• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,232), Nebraska’s John Cook (645) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (612). Rose currently ranks second among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook and George rank 15th and 19th, respectively. Michigan’s Mark Rosen continues to close in on the milestone, amassing 586 career victories so far and checking in at No. 22.
• Big Ten students currently occupy five of the top 10 spots nationally in hitting percentage, including the top two spots. Penn State’s Academic All-American Haleigh Washington leads the Big Ten and the nation with a .515 hitting percentage, while Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke ranks second, hitting at a clip of .459. Illinois’ Academic All-Big Ten honoree Ali Bastianelli ranks fifth (.443), Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams ranks eighth (.437), while Maryland’s Academic All-Big Ten selection Hailey Murray rounds out the list at No. 9 nationally with a mark of .434.
• Penn State’s Abby Detering is one of nine standouts in the NCAA this season to record a triple-double. In the Nittany Lions’ 3-1 victory over then top-ranked Stanford on Sept. 1, Detering posted 23 assists, while adding 11 kills and 10 digs.
• Based on average attendance, the Big Ten currently has seven of the nation’s top 15 teams, including three of the top five. Nebraska leads the nation, averaging 8,199 fans per contest, Wisconsin is third with 5,965, Minnesota is fourth at 4,928, Penn State is sixth with 3,462, while Michigan State checks in at No. 9 with 2,917 patrons per contest. Illinois (2,745) and Purdue (2,388) round out the top 15 at No. 10 and No. 15, respectively.
• The media credential application for the 2017 Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship is now available. Media interested in covering the event can log on to ncaa.com/media and access the credential application via the link under the credential icon.
• The 2017 Big Ten volleyball television package features 36 contests, with 31 of those matches airing live on BTN, and highlighted by 10 doubleheaders. Five other matches will be carried live on ESPN network.