Press Release courtesy of the Big Ten Conference
All 14 Big Ten volleyball teams continue conference play this week with 12 matches set to air on either BTN or BTN Plus.
• Two programs are in the hunt for the Big Ten Championship. Nebraska and Penn State are tied at the top of the standings, each boasting a 15-1 conference record with four matches left to play.
• Six Big Ten programs earned spots in the latest AVCA coaches poll, with four teams ranked among the top 10: No. 1 Penn State, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 15 Purdue. Illinois is 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 48 weeks. During that span, the Nittany Lions have earned the top spot 26 times.
• Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 50 of the NCAA RPI as of Monday, including six of the top 25: No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 18 Purdue, No. 27 Illinois, No. 34 Michigan, No. 38 Ohio State, No. 45 Iowa and No. 46 Maryland.
• 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 16th on the list, Purdue is 17th and Minnesota checks in at No. 18 out of 334 teams.
• Big Ten teams currently occupy five of the top 15 positions on the national team hitting percentage list, including two of the top three spots. Penn State leads the country with a .351 hitting percentage, followed by Purdue (.319) in third and Wisconsin (.299) in 10th. Minnesota checks in at No. 12, hitting at a .292 clip. Illinois rounds out the list at No. 13 in the NCAA, boasting a .281 team hitting percentage.
• Big Ten students currently occupy three of the top 10 spots nationally in hitting percentage, including two of the top five spots. Penn State’s Academic All-American Haleigh Washington leads the Big Ten and the nation with a .511 hitting percentage, while Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke ranks fifth, hitting at a clip of .437. Wisconsin’s Tionna Williams rounds out the list at No. 7 nationally with a mark of .432.
• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,238), Nebraska’s John Cook (651) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (616). Rose currently ranks second among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook and George rank 15th and 18th, respectively. Michigan’s Mark Rosen continues to close in on the milestone, amassing 589 career victories so far and checking in at No. 22.
• Based on average attendance, the Big Ten currently has seven of the nation’s top 15 teams, including five of the top 10. Nebraska leads the nation, averaging 8,203 fans per contest, Wisconsin is third with 5,975, Minnesota is fourth at 4,970, Penn State is fifth with 3,696, while Michigan State checks in at No. 8 with 3,146 patrons per contest. Illinois (2,639) and Purdue (2,392) round out the top 15 at No. 11 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.