Press Release courtesy of the Big Ten Conference
Conference play continues this weekend with all 14 teams in action. Six matches will be carried on BTN and ESPNU, with 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 have been ranked No. 1 in the AVCA coaches poll a total of 44 weeks: Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin. During that span, the Nittany Lions have earned the top spot 22 times.
• Based on past opponents’ winning percentage, Minnesota has played the fifth-toughest schedule in the nation, while Wisconsin has played the sixth-toughest schedule. Ohio State is eighth on the list, Nebraska is ninth and Penn State checks in at No. 11 out of 334 teams.
• Twelve Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 of the NCAA RPI as of Monday, including seven of the top 20: No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 14 Purdue, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 19 Illinois, No. 29 Ohio State, No. 33 Michigan, No. 38 Maryland, No. 45 Iowa and No. 56 Northwestern.
• 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 .347 hitting percentage, followed by Purdue (.327) in fourth and Wisconsin (.308) in fifth. Illinois checks in at No. 11, hitting at a clip of .298. Minnesota rounds out the list at No. 12 in the NCAA, boasting a .292 team hitting percentage.
• Illinois junior middle blocker Ali Bastian Elli has currently registered 110 total blocks in 61 sets to lead the conference and the NCAA with a 1.80 blocks per set average. Michigan State’s Alyssa Garvelink ranks 13th nationally, averaging 1.52 blocks per set.
• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,230), Nebraska’s John Cook (643) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (610). 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 585 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 spot. Penn State’s Academic All-American Haleigh Washington leads the Big Ten and the nation with a .506 hitting percentage, while Illinois’ Academic All-Big Ten honoree Ali Bastianelli ranks fourth, hitting at a clip of .448. Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams ranks fifth (.444), while Maryland’s Academic All-Big Ten selection Hailey Murray ranks sixth (.441). Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke rounds out the list at No. 8 nationally with a mark of .432.
• 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 five of the nation’s top 10 teams, including three of the top five. Nebraska leads the nation, averaging 8,204 fans per contest, Wisconsin is third with 5,965, Minnesota is fourth at 4,841, Penn State is seventh with 3,462, while Illinois checks in at No. 9 with 2,745 patrons per contest. Michigan State (2,587) and Purdue (2,382) round out the top-15 at No. 12 and No. 14, respectively.