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.
The No. 12 University of Minnesota volleyball team opened the 2011 season against tough competition, at State College, Pa. as the Golden Gophers faced No. 2 Southern California in the AVCA Showcase. The Gophers started the match strong but ultimately fell to USC in five sets, (25-23, 26-24, 13-25, 21-25, 7-15). In the second game of the AVCA Showcase, the four-time defending national champion, Penn State women’s volleyball team opened the 2011 season against Oregon on their home court. Oregon upset top-ranked Penn State, three sets to one, to end the Nittany Lions home winning streak.
Penn State volleyball had won 109 straight matches, but the defending national champions faced an uphill challenge. With nine new freshman added to the Nittany Lions and several key seniors lost to graduation, how would Penn State work to continue to compete for a NCAA title?
Another season, another Penn State women’s volleyball national championship. Legendary coach Russ Rose guided Penn State to its fourth straight national crown in 2010. Yes, that’s four national titles in four seasons, meaning last year’s seniors won the national crown every year of their careers. That’s a lot of hardware and a lot of great memories. The top-ranked Nittany Lions open their quest for an unprecedented fifth straight title vs. Oregon on August 28 at the AVCA Showcase. View the AVCA preseason poll.