Defending Big Ten champion Penn State was chosen as the conference favorite for the 2013 season, as voted on by the Big Ten coaches, it was announced Friday. Earning the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship last season, the Nittany Lions top the poll for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
CHICAGO – BTN will provide extensive coverage of the 2013 Big Ten volleyball season, with more than 70 matches set to air on BTN, BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN). BTN’s volleyball lineup will feature a match on most Wednesday and Friday evenings through the beginning of November. All games will also be available on BTN2Go.
Six Big Ten women’s volleyball teams advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament and all six played Friday night. Both Penn State and Nebraska swept their opponents to advance to Saturday’s round while Minnesota and Michigan moved on by defeating Big Ten foes Purdue and Michigan State , respectively.
Seven Big Ten teams are headed to the postseason, tied for the most of any conference in the country. Three teams will host first and second round play this weekend including the number one overall seed, the Penn State Nittany Lions. It has been a grueling schedule for every conference team and now we get a chance to see if the parity of the Big Ten has prepared these squads to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.
With the Big Ten Title reclaimed by Penn State this past weekend what remains to be decided in the regular season’s final week is whether or not an eighth Big Ten team is headed to the postseason and which conference members will be hosting the first two rounds of the tournament.
There is little doubt that the Big Ten has the most passionate and largest fan bases of any conference in the nation. Six of the top ten teams nationally in average attendance this season reside in the Big Ten, including four of the top five. Nebraska has the most dedicated fan base in the country with 175 consecutive sell outs of the NU Coliseum, the longest sell-out streak of any women’s collegiate sport.