The weekend saw several of the conference’s soccer and volleyball teams in action. The 18th-ranked Indiana men’s soccer team rallied from a 1-0 deficit with four unanswered goals from Eriq Zavaleta, Alec Purdie and Nikita Kotlov in a 4-1 victory at Michigan on Saturday night. Watch the highlights now. Moving to volleyball, Nebraska won a five-set thriller over Minnesota, 3-2, on Saturday night at Williams Arena. Dive inside for highlights of that game, plus much more from around the conference.
After giving an incredibly spirited effort Northwestern accomplished something it had not done since Sept. 5, 1987, but the end result was not what the Wildcats strived for as they fell to No. 8 Penn State at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa., 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-13, 15-11). After fighting back from one-set deficits in the second and fourth frames, the Wildcats did not have enough left in the tank to knock off the four-time defending national champions in their own building in the decisive fifth.
The Purdue volleyball team fought off Northwestern squad in a 3-1 win on Wednesday night to remain undefeated at 14-0 on the year. The 12th-ranked Boilermakers won the match 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 on their way to posting their best record since going 33-0 in 1982. Junior Ariel Turner led the way for Purdue with a 20-kill, 14-dig double double. Senior Tiffany Fisher added nine kills, while redshirt sophomore Katie Griffin tacked on seven putaways.
After trailing in the first set, the No. 9 Minnesota recovered and went on to earn a 3-1 win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. With the win, the Golden Gophers (8-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) earned their first conference victory of the 2011 campaign. Northwestern dropped to 9-4 overall and 0-2 in conference action. Ashley Wittman, who had 20 kills and 14 digs, led Minnesota in the win. Watch now a video recap from the match below and read the full game story in this post.
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.