Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Seven Big Ten Teams in AVCA Preseason Top 25
When the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released its preseason poll for the 2011 season on August 15th, with 54 of the 60 voters naming Penn State as the preseason #1 team in the country, it raised several questions in our mind. Were those 54 voters unaware that Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose voted Nebraska #1 in the Big Ten preseason poll (see below), or did they simply not believe him? Is the Big Ten really so strong this season that seven of its teams (#1 Penn State, #5 Nebraska, #8 Illinois, #12 Minnesota, #13 Purdue, #21 Ohio State, #24 Michigan) are among the top 25 teams, and another four (Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin) are just outside the top-25 bubble? Who is the greater superhero, Superman or Batman?
One pattern seems clear: the voters are very, very loyal — if they liked you last season, they like you this season too. Every team in the top 14 of this preseason poll was also in the top 14 of the final 2010 poll — with their relative positions mostly unchanged.
Whatever their thinking, one thing is certain — the AVCA voters will have a chance to weigh the merits of #1-ranked Penn State when it faces #2-ranked USC on August 27th in the Rockvale Outlets/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase at Rec Hall (8:00 pm live on the Big Ten Network (BTN) if you aren’t able to get there in person).
For the complete AVCA preseason poll, Click Here.
Big Ten Votes Penn State Preseason #1; McClendon, Carpenter and Slay Earn Preseason All-Conference Honors
2011 BIG TEN PRESEASON POLL
I don’t sandbag and I don’t ever blow us up. I’m past the point in my life where I’ve got to play (mind) games. It’s just my opinion. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to win. We’re going to try to be the best we can be.
1. Penn State
6. Michigan State
2011 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN VOLLEYBALL TEAM
|MICHELLE BARTSCH (3)||Illinois||Sr.||Outside Hitter||Maryville, Ill.|
|COLLEEN WARD||Illinois||Sr.||Outside Hitter||Naperville, Ill.|
|ALEX HUNT (2)||Michigan||Sr.||Outside Hitter||Granger, Ind.|
|Jenilee Rathje||Michigan State||Sr.||Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker||Mount Pleasant, Mich.|
|Tori Dixon||Minnesota||So.||Middle Blocker||Burnsville, Minn.|
|Ashley Wittman||Minnesota||So.||Outside Hitter||Shakopee, Minn.|
|Lauren Cook||Nebraska||Jr.||Setter||Lincoln, Neb.|
|BROOKE DELANO||Nebraska||Sr.||Middle Blocker||Bellevue, Neb.|
|Hannah Werth||Nebraska||Jr.||Outside Hitter||Springfield, Ill.|
|Stephanie Holthus||Northwestern||So.||Outside Hitter||Burlington, Ill.|
|Kristin Carpenter||Penn State||Jr.||Setter/Defensive Specialist||Mechanicsville, Va.|
|DEJA McCLENDON||Penn State||So.||Outside Hitter||Louisville, Ky.|
|Katie Slay||Penn State||So.||Middle Hitter||Raleigh, N.C.|
|Carly Cramer||Purdue||Jr.||Defensive Specialist||Martinsville, Ind.|
|Tiffany Fisher||Purdue||Sr.||Middle Blocker||Topeka, Ind.|
|Ariel Turner||Purdue||Jr.||Outside Hitter||Highlands Ranch, Colo.|
|Alexis Mitchell||Wisconsin||Jr.||Middle Blocker||Davenport, Iowa|