All six home sides held court on Friday in the Big Ten, including upset wins by Indiana and Northwestern, who moved past Ohio State and Michigan State respectively. Illinois and Wisconsin each went the distance for wins over Michigan and Nebraska.
Four Illinois players managed double-digit kill tallies led by Ali Bastianelli’s career-high 19 as the Fighting Illini hung on for a five-set win over Michigan.
Week 8 brought 10 players into the 1,000 kill club, bumping the total of active members to 99 players. Three others reached the 1,000 dig milestone, pushing the number of players in that group to 149 members.
Penn State ended a seven-match losing streak against Nebraska, winning in five sets at home, while Illinois picked up a key home win over Wisconsin in four. Purdue, Minnesota and Indiana also won on Saturday.
Illinois snapped an eight-match losing streak against the Badgers with the four-set win and evened the season series after falling 3-1 in Champaign on Oct. 3.
No. 14 Michigan and Michigan State each picked up five-set road wins, while No. 3 Minnesota and No. 5 Wisconsin successfully defended their home courts in sweeps.
Minnesota increased its stranglehold on the top spot in the Big Ten standings at 7-0 with a home sweep of Illinois on Friday behind 15 kills by junior Alexis Hart.
Iowa upset #5 Wisconsin for the first time since 2009, while Michigan also escaped with a five-set home win, moving past Indiana. #4 Minnesota snapped #3 Nebraska’s 14-match win streak to claim the top spot in the Big Ten standings after Week 3.
Wisconsin rallied for a four-set win over Illinois, beating the Illini at their own game, winning the block 8-5 and denying Ali Bastianelli the career total blocks record for another match.
All 3 favored programs played their way to Big Ten conference volleyball victories on Wednesday night as 3rd-ranked Nebraska topped 25th-ranked Iowa in 4, 4th-ranked Minnesota handled Northwestern in straight sets and 5th-ranked Wisconsin downed 7th-ranked Illinois in 4.