Weekend Update: 11-1-09

The Penn State Women’s Volleyball team (12-0 Big 10, 24-0 overall) continued its winning ways Friday night, with a 3-0 victory over Minnesota (25-14, 25-16, 25-17), extending its winning NCAA women’s volleyball record consecutive match winning streak to 88 (more about that below), its streak for consecutive wins at Rec Hall to 68, and its Big Ten winning streak to 57 consecutive matches. For match notes Click Here.

Here are video highlights from that match, courtesy of the Big Ten Network:

Records Bruin?

The 3-0 victory over Minnesota moved Penn State into a tie with the UCLA men’s basketball team for the fourth-longest NCAA team winning streak of all time, behind the Miami (Fla.) men’s tennis team, which won 137 consecutive matches from 1957-64, and the North Carolina women’s soccer team’s 92-game streak from 1990-94.

That’s a great accomplishment, but not one that has been, or will be, a focus of the Penn State team going forward. They have one goal: winning the NCAA Championship. Everything else is secondary.

That said, there are some interesting angles to this “NCAA team record” discussion. In a sense, including both the Miami (Fla.) tennis team record and the UNC women’s soccer team record mixes apples and oranges: there’s a difference between team sports, like volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, and baseball (to name a few), where there is one score, determined by the play of the team as a whole, and “team” sports like tennis, golf, wrestling, and gymnastics, where individuals (or in some cases, more than one individual, but not the entire team) compete against other individuals (or more than one. . . ) from the other team, and the results of those individual competitions are added together to determine the “team” score.

That’s not to say one is better than the other, but they are significantly different. The UNC women’s soccer 92 game streak is the record for the first category. The Miami (Fla.) tennis 137 match streak is the record in the second category. Our focus is on the UNC women’s soccer streak.

Winning streak records aside, below is a listing of how Penn State stacks up in selected Big Ten team and individual statistics through November 1, 2009: