With eleven Big Ten teams earning preseason recognition in the first AVCA coaches’ poll, it’s going to be another competitive season. The Big Ten’s eight top-25 teams is the most for any conference in the country. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State earned the preseason #1 ranking, followed by Nebraska at #5, Illinois at #8, Minnesota at #12, Purdue at #13, Ohio State at #21 and Michigan at #24. Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each also received votes in the preseason poll. Watch now as Kara Lentz takes a look at each Big Ten team heading into the 2011 volleyball season.
Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith visited Michigan State practice on our BTN Football Tour this August. The Spartans, fresh off a share of their first Big Ten title since 1990, are eying the program’s first back-to-back 10-win seasons. It’s a realistic goal, considering Michigan State returns QB Kirk Cousins and, arguably, the Big Ten’s best set of skill players. Lineman Jerel Worthy and a big-play secondary give Michigan State a formidable defense. The Spartans open the season Sept. 2 against Youngstown State. Watch all of our Michigan State Preview video inside.
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Michigan State’s Kathryn Mahoney suffered a life-altering injury doing what she loved most: competing in gymnastics. One moment, she’s honing her craft on the vault, and the next she’s motionless. Mahoney fractured her C6 vertebra one day in practice, leaving her paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Ever since the incident, Mahoney has received support in all walks of life. “It’s been incredible,” Mahoney said, “I can’t even thank all of the people who have been supporting me.” Watch her inspiring story.
BTN host Mike Hall loves going across Big Ten country and learning how to play sports he’s not, um, very good at. Hall visited East Lansing, Mich., more specifically Munn Arena, recently to get some pointers from a trio of Spartans, Torey Krug, Drew Palmisano and Derek Grant. Hall isn’t the best skater in the world, so how did his session? Not all that well. Check out inside
The Michigan State women’s cross country team won its third Big Ten title Sunday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Verona, Wis. Emily MacLeod won the event (19:54) to lead the Spartans to the title, their first since 2001. Four Spartans finished in the top 25 as the team tallied 74 points, 14 fewer than runner-up and in-state rival Michigan.
BTN host Mike Hall loves to try his hand at new sports. A collegiate athlete he was not, Hall will try just about anything — and do so in front of cameras. Last spring, he went to East Lansing, Mich., in pursuit of trying to learn how to play field hockey. “The sport’s an anomaly to me,” Hall said before his tutorial. Obviously, Hall found out field hockey is anything but an easy sport. Watch Hall practice with the Spartans in this video.
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