Press Release courtesy of the Big Ten Conference.
Conference play continues this weekend with all 14 teams in action. Three matches will be carried on BTN, with the remaining contests streaming on BTN Plus.
• Seven Big Ten programs earned spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, with four teams ranked among the top 10: No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 18 Purdue and No. 22 Michigan. Illinois and Ohio State are all receiving votes in the poll.
• Based on past opponents’ winning percentage, Penn State has played the third-toughest schedule in the nation, while Wisconsin has played the sixth-toughest schedule. Nebraska is ninth on the list and Minnesota checks in at No. 10.
• Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 of the NCAA RPI released on Tuesday: No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 17 Purdue, No. 24 Illinois, No. 27 Michigan, No. 29 Ohio State, No. 30 Maryland and No. 54 Northwestern.
• The Big Ten went a combined 128-27 in nonconference action (.826), leading all conferences in winning percentage.
• Big Ten teams currently occupy four of the top 10 positions on the national team hitting percentage list, including the top two spots. Penn State leads the country with a .357 hitting percentage, followed by Purdue (.351) in second and Wisconsin (.314) in seventh. Illinois rounds out the list at No. 9 in the NCAA, boasting a .314 team hitting percentage.
• Illinois junior middle blocker Ali Bastian Elli has currently registered 92 total blocks in 48 sets to lead the conference and the NCAA with a 1.92 blocks per set average. Michigan State’s Alyssa Garvelink ranks third nationally, averaging 1.64 blocks per set.
• Michigan State head coach Cathy George earned her 600th career win on Sept. 1. George became the third Big Ten head coach to amass 600 wins, joining Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,226) and Nebraska’s John Cook (640). Rose currently ranks second among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook and George rank 15th and 19th, respectively.
• Big Ten students currently occupy five of the top 15 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 .504 hitting percentage, while Illinois’ Academic All-Big Ten honoree Ali Bastianelli ranks second, hitting at a clip of .496. Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke ranks sixth (.442), Maryland’s Academic All-Big Ten selection Hailey Murray ranks ninth (.434), and Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams rounds out the list at No. 11 nationally with a mark of .427.
• Penn State’s Abby Detering is one of six 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. Nebraska leads the nation, averaging 8,175 fans per contest, Wisconsin is third with 5,948, Minnesota is fourth at 4,812, Penn State is sixth with 3,334, while Illinois checks in at No. 7 with 3,311 patrons per contest. Michigan State (2,493), Purdue (2,019) and Michigan (1,858) round out the top-20 at No. 11, No. 16 and No. 19, respectively.
• 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.