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Weekly Volleyball Release – Aug. 22 (PDF)

 

• The 2018 Big Ten volleyball season is set to begin this weekend, with all 14 teams in action. Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue will open the season at home, while the remaining 10 conference teams will begin the season on the road.

 

• Defending NCAA and co-Big Ten champion Nebraska was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2018 volleyball season as voted on by the Big Ten coaches. After claiming its fifth national title last sea- son, Nebraska tops the preseason poll for the second time in three years.

 

• Seven Big Ten programs are ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Poll, with four teams ranked in the top ten. Nebraska checks in at No. 2, Minnesota and Penn State take fourth and sixth places, respectively. Wisconsin is ranked No. 9, Illinois is No. 12 and Michigan State is No. 22. Rounding out Big Ten teams in the top 25 is No. 23 Purdue. Michigan received votes in the poll.

 

• Seven unanimous decisions highlighted the 2018 preseason All-Big Ten team, selected by the conference’s 14 head coaches: llinois’ Jordyn Poulter, Michigan’s Carly Skjodt, Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy and Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Nebraska’s Mikaela Foecke, Purdue’s Sherridan Atkinson and Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke.

 

• Six Big Ten volleyball matches will be televised live on ESPNU this fall, including five that will air as part of the network’s Sunday afternoon volleyball package. The 2018 Big Ten volleyball television schedule features 39 matches televised live, with 33 broadcasts on BTN, highlighted by eight doubleheader broad- casts.

 

• Last season, the Big Ten sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament, with three squads earning top-16 seeds. Six schools advanced to the Sweet 16, with Nebraska and Penn State advancing to the Final Four. The Cornhuskers won its fifth national title and the Big Ten’s 11th title in the last 20 years.

 

• A Big Ten record 17 volleyball students were selected as AVCA All-Americans last season. Twelve of the 17 selections return this season. Represented on the first team were Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy, Nebraska’s Kelly Hunter, Penn State’s Haleigh Washington and Simone Lee, Purdue’s Danielle Cuttino and Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke.

 

• Fifty Academic All-Big Ten honorees and 18 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars return to their respective teams this season.

 

• Eleven members of last year’s All-Big Ten team return to the fold this season, including last season’s Freshman of the Year, Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke.

 

• Three active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,246), Nebraska’s John Cook (661) and Michigan State’s Cathy George (621). 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 looks to close in on the milestone, with 593 career victories so far and checking in at No. 22.