Last week, there were 29 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I volleyball. Even after all of the cancellations caused by Hurricane Irma, including for still-undefeated Miami (6-0) and Florida (4-0), that number was whittled down to just 11 after Monday’s games.
And – Midwestern volleyball fans, get ready for conference play to begin in 2 weeks – 5 of those 11 teams are in the Big Ten.
Perennial powers Minnesota (8-0), Wisconsin (7-0), and Penn State (7-0) haven’t dropped a game yet. The bigger surprises, though, are Maryland and Indiana, who were 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 14 team conference last season. They’re each 9-0 so far, which for Maryland already almost matches the 12-win season that they had last year.
Neither has played an overly-challenging schedule so far, but there are nice wins on both teams’ resumes. Indiana, for example, beat Hofstra 3-1 on September 2nd – Hofstra was 57th in the season-ending RPI rankings in 2016. Mayrland’s schedule has been even a little better, with wins over Temple (3rd in the American Athletic Conference last year), Northeastern (RPI #94 last season), and Virginia Tech out of the ACC.
Add to those 5 undefeateds 3 more with just 1 loss (8-1 Northwestern, 8-1 Purdue, 5-1 Michigan State), plus Nebraska and Illinois lurking with tough out-of-conference schedules, and another wild Big Ten is setting up for this season. Only Rutgers (3-6) has a losing record in the Big Ten so far this season.
Big Ten Records, Through September 11th:
- Indiana – 9-0
- Maryland – 9-0
- Minnesota – 8-0
- Wisconsin – 7-0
- Penn St. – 7-0
- Northwestern – 8-1
- Purdue – 8-1
- Michigan St. – 5-1
- Iowa – 8-2
- Michigan – 7-2
- Illinois – 6-2
- Nebraska – 5-2
- Ohio St. – 5-3
- Rutgers – 3-6
None of the Pac-12 teams have more than 2 losses, but there are also no undefeated teams left in that conference. In total, the only conference besides the Big Ten with multiple undefeated teams left is the Colonial – with Towson (11-0) and James Madison (9-0) both among the unbeatens.
The full list of remaining unbeatens is below:
|Providence (Big East)||10||0|
|James Madison (Colonial)||9||0|
|Indiana (Big Ten)||9||0|
|Maryland (Big Ten)||9||0|
|Minnesota (Big Ten)||8||0|
|Wisconsin (Big Ten)||7||0|
|Penn St. (Big Ten)||7||0|
|Iowa St. (Big 12)||7||0|
|Miami (FL) (Atlantic Coast)||6||0|
How about Portland in the WVC??
Gerry – this article was written last season. We’ll start tracking this season’s unbeaten teams this week or next. Thanks for reading!