Extensive look at the female athletes shining on and off the Big Ten playing field, in addition to highlights and analysis.
For the first time in program history, the Illinois volleyball team is ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Poll, released Monday. The Illini, who were No. 3 last week, received 55 of the 60 first-place votes after opening Big Ten play with a pair of wins to move to 13-0 on the season. No. 7 Nebraska, No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 12 Purdue, No. 17 Michigan and No. 22 Ohio State also made the poll. Get more on the latest volleyball news every Monday on “The Women’s Sports Report.” Watch our interview with Illinois’ Colleen Ward now.
As if the competition of the Big Ten wasn’t a big enough adjustment, the Nebraska volleyball team also must adapt to a new schedule in its first season in the Big Ten. Unlike the Big 12, Nebraska’s previous conference, the Big Ten plays its weekend conference games on back-to-back nights, Friday and Saturday. It’s something that will take some getting used to. No. 10 Nebraska hosts No. 5 Penn State in the teams’ Big Ten opener at 8 ET Wednesday on BTN. Our Big Ten Women’s Sports Report discussed the Huskers’ adjustment in this web-only segment.
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?
Former Northwestern tennis player Katrina Adams flew under the radar as a high school star. A 16-year-old senior, questions over her young age kept many of the scholarship offers from coming. She wanted to play for Southern Cal or UCLA, among others, but the Chicago product had to settle on staying close to home. Adams isn’t bitter about how her tennis days played out, and for good reason. Adams had a great career at Northwestern and went on to win 20 doubles titles during her 12-year professional career.