Big Ten News

The Big Ten Weekly Volleyball Report is out. Here are some highlights:

* Penn State is ranked #1 for the 27th consecutive week, with two other Big Ten teams in the top-10 teams of the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll: No. 6 Michigan (the program’s highest-ever ranking) and No. 9 Minnesota. Also in the AVCA top 25 are # 14 Illinois and #17 Michigan State. Purdue is receiving votes outside the top 25.

* Penn State extended its NCAA records for consecutive regular-season sets won to 123 and its overall winning streak to 73 straight matches.

* Big Ten teams won twice over ranked opponents this weekend, with #14 Illinois downing #16 St. Louis 3-1 (Penn State swept the Billikins on August 29th) and Purdue defeating No. 21 Kansas State in five.

* In addition to Penn State (which is 9-0 for the second consecutive year and the third time in the last four seasons) several Big Ten teams are off to fast starts, with Michigan State at 9-0 (the program’s best start since 1976 when the team began 15-0), at Ohio State 9-1, its best beginning since 2006 when the team opened the campaign 10-0, and Michigan at 10-0 for the fourth consecutive year. To date, Big Ten teams are a combined 15-10 against opposition either ranked or receiving votes at the time of competition (8-6 mark against top-25 opponents).

This week, Big Ten teams will play a total of five teams that are ranked or that received votes in this week’s poll. No. 9 Minnesota takes on #12 Oregon in the Pioneer Classic. Other top opponents this week include #14 Illinois and Purdue (rv) against Ohio (rv); No. 6 Michigan vs. Dayton (rv) and Oregon State (rv); and Northwestern against Cincinnati (rv).