BIG 10 VOLLEYBALL THIS WEEK

  • Big Ten play continues this weekend with all 14 programs competing. Conference play includes two top 20 matchups: No. 6 Minnesota at No. 17 Illinois (BTN/Fox Sports App) and No. 6 Minnesota at No. 7 Wisconsin (BTN/Fox Sports App).
    • Seven Big Ten programs are either ranked or receiving votes in the latest coaches poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, with four teams ranked among the top 10. Nebraska is No. 5, Minnesota is No. 6, Wisconsin is No. 7 and Penn State is No. 8. Illinois is 17th, Purdue is No. 20 and Michigan is receiving votes.
    • Eleven Big Ten volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 of the NCAA RPI: No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 11 Minnesota, No. 19 Penn State, No. 22 Illinois, No. 29 Purdue, No. 36 Michigan, No. 39 Indiana, No. 51 Ohio State, No. 53 Iowa and No. 56 Michigan State.
    • This season’s BTN volleyball coverage is the most extensive in Network history. The Network’s newly themed Wednesday Night Block Party (#BTNBlockParty) will continue throughout October. Wednesday night coverage will include the debut of the B1G Volleyball Report on Sept. 18. The B1G Volleyball Report will air throughout October following doubleheader matches on #BTNBlockParty nights with highlights and analysis from across the Conference.
    • The first #BTNBlockParty broadcast match between No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 Stanford was the most-watched volleyball match in Big Ten Network history, according to Nielsen. The rematch of last season’s national championship averaged 226,765 viewers, which eclipsed a mark previously set by the Nebraska vs. Minnesota match in October of 2018.
    • Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilley earned Player and Setter of the Week after setting Wisconsin to two wins over top-five teams for the first time in program history as the then-No. 13 Badgers defeated then-No. 5 Penn State and then-No. 2 Nebraska last weekend averaging a .339 hitting percentage. Illinois’ Ashlyn Fleming was named Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Illini with 11 blocks for 1.57 stuffs per set in two wins. Illinois’ Diana Brown claimed Co-Freshman of the Week honors after totaling 82 assists for an 11.71 assists per set average for the Illini. Michigan’s May Pertofsky posted 3.50 kills per set with a .356 attack percentage in Michigan’s two sweeps of Maryland and Ohio State, earning Co-Freshman of the Week.
    • Hilley was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week for her performances against then-No. 5 Penn State and then-No. 2 Nebraska. The junior is the sixth Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week in Wisconsin history and claims the first honor of her career.
    • Four Big Ten programs rank in the top 15 of national hitting percentage: No. 5 Michigan (.289), No. 9 Wisconsin (.282), No. 10 Penn State (.282) and No. 14 Minnesota (.274).
    • Minnesota currently leads the nation in kills per set averaging 15.41. Wisconsin is ninth in the country with 14.43 and Ohio State is No. 24 averaging 13.79 kills per set.
    • Three programs rank in the top 25 of assists per set with Minnesota leading the nation at 14.41. Wisconsin is eighth with 13.57 helpers per set. Michigan ranks 21st with 12.94.
    • Four Big Ten students rank in the top 15 of national hitting percentage: Penn State’s Kaitlyn Hord is fifth in the nation averaging a .467 clip, Penn State’s Serena Gray is 10th (.433), Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke is 13th (.425) and Maryland’s Katie Myers is 14th (.424).
    • Four students are ranked in the top 25 of assists per set. Minnesota’s Kylie Miller paces the nation at No. 1 averaging 11.93 helpers per set, Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilley is seventh with 11.40, Michigan’s Mackenzi Welsh is 14th with 11.20 and Penn State’s Gabby Blossom is 22nd with 10.93 helpers per set.
    • Four active Big Ten coaches have recorded at least 600 career wins: Penn State’s Russ Rose (1,282), Nebraska’s John Cook (732), Michigan State’s Cathy George (649) and Michigan’s Mark Rosen (628). Rose ranks first among active Division I coaches in career victories, while Cook ranks 9th, George is 14th and Rosen is No. 17.