Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992

  • Conference play continues this weekend with all 14 teams in action. Four matches will be carried on BTN, two on ESPNU and the remaining matches will stream live on BTN Plus. The Big Ten will feature two top-20 matchups on linear networks this week.
  • For the fifth week in a row, seven Big Ten programs claimed spots in the latest AVCA poll, with five teams ranked among the top 10: No. 3 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Illinois, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State, No. 13 Michigan and No. 17 Purdue.
  • Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 of the NCAA RPI: No. 3 Illinois, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 15 Purdue, No. 17 Penn State, No. 39 Iowa, No. 45 Ohio State, No. 49 Indiana and No. 60 Michigan State.
  • Based on past opponents’ winning percentage, Illinois has played the fourth-toughest schedule in the nation. The Illini hold a 5-2 record against top 25 teams this season.
  • Big Ten teams currently obtain five of the top-20 positions on the national team hitting percentage list. Minnesota lands at No. 4 with a .302 hitting percentage, Wisconsin (.294) is seventh, Illinois (.283) is 12th, Nebraska (.278) is No. 15 and Penn State is No. 19 in the NCAA, boasting a .269 team hitting percentage.
  • Big Ten teams occupy six of the top 25 positions on the national blocks per set rankings. Penn State leads the country with 3.14 blocks per set. Rutgers (2.87) is eighth, Michigan State ranks ninth with 2.85, Nebraska is 10th (2.84), Indiana is 19th (2.67) and Wisconsin is No. 24 with 2.63 blocks per set.
  • Four Big Ten teams currently hold top 20 spots nationally in kills per set. Minnesota ranks fourth with 15.00 kills per set, Michigan is tied for tenth with 14.50, Illinois is No. 17 with 14.11 and Wisconsin is No. 20 with 14.04 kills per set.
  • Big Ten students currently occupy five of the top-25 spots nationally in hitting percentage. Minnesota’s Taylor Morgan leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally with a .429 hitting percentage. Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke is No. 14 hitting a clip of .407. Michigan State’s Naya Gros is 15th with a .403, Nebraska’s Lauren Stivrins (.394) is No. 21, and Illinois’ Ali Bastianelli is No. 25 hitting a clip is .384.
  • Four Big Ten students rank in the top 20 positions for blocks per set. Nebraska’s Callie Schwarzenbach leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally, averaging 1.59 blocks per set. Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke is eighth with 1.56. Penn State’s Serena Gray is No. 15 with 1.46 blocks per set and Illinois’ Ali Bastianelli is No. 18 averaging 1.44 blocks per set.
  • Four active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,259), Nebraska’s John Cook (706), Michigan State’s Cathy George (635) and Michigan’s Mark Rosen (608). Rose ranks first among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook ranks 10th, George is 15th and Rosen is No. 18.
  • Based on average attendance, the Big Ten currently has ten of the nation’s top 25 programs, including the top three spots. Nebraska leads the nation, averaging 7,491 fans per contest, Wisconsin is second with 7,052 and Minnesota is third at 5,138. Penn State checks in at No. 7 with 3,388, Michigan State is 12th with 2,633, Purdue is 17th with 2,169, Illinois is 18th with 2,126, Ohio State is 19th with 1,978, Iowa is No. 22 with 1,839 and Michigan is No. 24 with 1,715 patrons per contest.
  • The 2018 Big Ten volleyball television package features 39 contests televised live, with 33 of those matches airing live on BTN, and highlighted by eight doubleheaders. Six other matches will be carried live on ESPNU. This week, Indiana at No. 5 Nebraska, Michigan State at Maryland, Northwestern at No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 5 Nebraska at No. 9 Penn State will be featured on BTN, while No. 9 Penn State at No. 17 Purdue and Michigan State at Ohio State will be live on ESPNU.