[ONE // nebraska volleyball nabs national championship]
With a 3-1 win over second-seeded Florida, No. 5 Nebraska claimed the 2017 NCAA Women’s Volleyball national championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday evening. The title marks Nebraska’s fifth NCAA Championship and second in three years. The Huskers were led by Mikaela Foecke, who posted 20 kills and 14 digs. Nebraska claimed the first and second sets by 25-22 and 25-17 scores, respectively. The Gators put up a fight in the third, forcing a fourth set. The Huskers rallied, winning the decisive fourth set, 25-16. Foecke and Hunter were named the Co-Most Outstanding Players of the NCAA Tournament. An NCAA record 18,516 fans attended Saturday’s match. The Huskers finish with a 32-4 overall record and a 19-1 mark in conference action.
[TWO // volleyball standouts earn national recognition]
A Big Ten-record 17 volleyball students were selected as AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-Americans, as announced by the AVCA on Wednesday. Six of 14 first-team selections are Big Ten students. Represented on the first team are 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. Another six students were named to the second team, while five standouts earned third-team accolades. In addition, 13 players were selected as AVCA Honorable Mention All-America selections. Also on Wednesday, Penn State’s Washington was selected as the 2017 Senior CLASS Award winner in volleyball.
[THREE // hoosiers, rutgers snag signature wins in men’s basketball]
Big Ten men’s basketball turned in an impressive 16-2 record this past week, including signature wins by Indiana and Rutgers. The Hoosiers moved to 6-5 on the season with an 80-77 overtime upset over No. 18 Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic on Saturday. Juwan Morgan posted a career-high 34 points along with 11 rebounds in 40 minutes of play in the win. Corey Sanders shot 9-of-16 to score 22 points in helping Rutgers (10-3) to a 71-65 win over No. 15 Seton Hall at the RAC on Saturday in the annual Garden State Hardwood Classic. Michigan State, which owns the league’s best record at 10-1, defeated Oakland 86-73 on Saturday.
[FOUR // women’s basketball posts another impressive week]
Just was the case with Big Ten men’s basketball, the conference women’s basketball programs turned in another successful week, winning 13 of its 17 games. No. 23/21 Michigan scored two home victories over North Florida and Fort Wayne, while No. 13/13 Ohio State earned a pair of wins over Dartmouth and Cincinnati. In its lone game of the week, No. 25/25 Iowa, which still boasts the league’s best winning percentage at .917, scored a 71-47 win over Northern Iowa. Rutgers, which is receiving votes outside the top 25, topped Princeton and Houston in New Jersey.
[FIVE // all-american gridiron greats]
Thirteen Big Ten standouts were named All-Americans by the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on Monday. On Tuesday, 11 Big Ten students earned All-America plaudits from the Sporting News, including six first-team selections. With the announcement of All-America teams by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) on Wednesday, the Big Ten’s total of All-Americans increased to 16 standouts from five different schools. In addition, six Big Ten students representing five conference schools earned Academic All-America honors in football as announced Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The Big Ten has now led all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences in Academic All-Americans for 13 consecutive seasons, with 94 honorees over that time span.
[SIX // four men’s soccer standouts recognized as scholars]
Three Big Ten men’s soccer students earned Scholar All-America honors, while one received Scholar All-Region citations, it was announced Thursday by United Soccer Coaches (formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America – NSCAA). Michigan State had three students chosen as Scholar All-Americans. The Spartans were represented by first-team selections Jimmy Fiscus, a senior defender, and Ken Krolicki, a senior midfielder. Junior goalkeeper, Jimmy Hauge was awarded second-team honors. In addition, Michigan State also had a student chosen for Scholar All-Region accolades. MSU junior forward DeJuan Jones earned Scholar All-North/Central Region Team plaudits.
[SEVEN // nine women’s soccer students honored for academics]
Seven Big Ten women’s soccer students earned Scholar All-America honors, while two others received Scholar All-Region citations, it was announced Thursday by United Soccer Coaches (formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America – NSCAA). Northwestern and Ohio State each had three students chosen as Scholar All-Americans. The Wildcats were represented by second-team selection Marisa Viggiano, a junior midfielder, and a pair of third-team honorees in senior goalkeeper Lauren Clem (who received her second Scholar All-America award in as many years) and junior defender Kayla Sharples. The trio of Buckeyes included two first-team selections in senior midfielder Nikki Walts and senior defender Morgan Wolcott, as well as second-team choice (and senior forward) Sammy Edwards. Rutgers junior goalkeeper Casey Murphy also earned first-team Scholar All-America status this season.
[EIGHT // buckeyes picked to win men’s gymnastics title]
The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team earned top honors in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll for the fourth consecutive season, the conference office announced Thursday. The Buckeyes, who have won 14 total and two consecutive Big Ten Championships, were followed by No. 2 Minnesota, No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 Penn State. Iowa and Michigan were ranked sixth and seventh in the preseason poll, respectively. The Big Ten also announced the 2017 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list, with four Academic All-Big Ten honorees and returning for the 2018 campaign.
[NINE // michigan made favorite to win women’s gymnastics crown]
Four-time defending Big Ten women’s gymnastics champion Michigan was named the favorite in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference office announced Thursday. The Wolverines were followed by No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Iowa, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Penn State and No. 6 Minnesota. Illinois and Michigan State earned the seventh and eighth spots, respectively, with No. 9 Maryland and No. 10 Rutgers rounding out the poll. The Big Ten also announced the Gymnasts to Watch List, with nine returning All-Big Ten standouts headlining the list.
[TEN // the week in wrestling]
Finally this week, No. 1 Penn State topped Indiana in the lone Big Ten wrestling dual, while Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State were also in action. The Buckeyes shut out Princeton 39-0 and rolled Chattanooga 39-3, while Northwestern stopped CSU Bakersfield, 27-13. Nebraska dropped duals to both North Carolina and North Carolina State.