Tweleven Report (Analysis You Can’t Count On) — The Big Ten Through 9-3-11

Big Ten  Posts 53-13 Record in First Two Weekends (Mr. Tweleven Withholds Comment)

We know, today’s post headline is grossly misleading — suggesting that it is the much-awaited first report on the Big Ten by Mr. Tweleven, the highly-respected Big Ten women’s volleyball analyst, when in fact, Mr. Tweleven is withholding comment for now on the performance of Big Ten teams.  

We promise, we will have a Tweleven Report soon, featuring his wildly popular mix of patently speculative commentary, guesstimological analysis, and unrecontructed homerism for no particular team. 

In the meantime, here’s a quick wrap on how the Big Ten has fared to date (culled from the team websites — our crack DigNittanyVolleyball researchers and statisticians having decamped on Friday for some bacchanalian celebration, leaving the cryptic (to us) note: “You want more than links? Pay us!).                                                                                                      

Illinois: A Classic Finish at Huff

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –It was fitting on Labor Day weekend that the Illini would need to work a little harder and dig a little deeper. On a steamy couple of days at Huff Hall, No. 7 Illinois wrapped up its 21st State Farm Illini Classic in the tournament’s 28-year history, including its sixth straight, but it was anything but easy.

For the complete story, Click Here.

Purdue: No. 13 Boilermakers Top Denver 3-1, Take Denver Invitational Title

DENVER, Colo. – The Boilermaker volleyball team showed its mettle, overcoming a hard fighting Denver Pioneer team in a 3-1 victory Saturday night to clinch the Denver Invitational title.

Junior Ariel Turner capped her stay in her home stay with a 19-kill, 10-dig double double, while also adding two aces and three blocks. Senior Tiffany added 13 kills on a .550 hitting effort en route to tournament MVP honors. Redshirt sophomore Katie Griffin chipped in nine kills.

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Michigan: Maize & Blue Blasts Cal Poly to Win Utah Valley Invitational

OREM, Utah — Senior Alex Hunt(Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph), senior Courtney Fletcher(Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) and senior/junior Claire McElheny(Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) each put down 11 kills as the No. 24-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team swept Cal Poly (25-17, 25-18, 25-21) in the finale of the La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 3) at the Shurian Family Activity Center. With the win, Michigan captured the invitational title; McElheny was named the tournament MVP. 

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Michigan State: Spartans Rally To Defeat Toledo, 3-0

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State volleyball team (6-0) captured its eighth-straight Spartan Showcase crown with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) win over Toledo on Saturday, Sept. 3. Earning her second-straight MVP honors was senior Jenilee Rathje, as she recorded 14 kills against Toledo for 47 on the weekend.  The Spartans also continued their streak of six-straight matches to start the season without dropping a single set, the first time in program history since 1975.

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Northwestern: ‘Cats Earn Chicago Challenge Crown With Sweep of UIC

CHICAGO —Northwestern swept UIC Saturday night in the championship match of the Chicago Challenge, claiming its eighth crown in 11 attempts in the local tournament. With the 25-13, 25-20, 25-15 final score, NU now has won its first 15 sets of the year — the Wildcats’ best streak since they won their first 22 sets in 1984.  Northwestern has won back-to-back Chicago Challenge championships and is 5-0 to start a season for the first time since 1997.

Sophomore Stephanie Holthus was named the Challenge’s MVP while setter Madalyn Shalter also earned an All-Tournament team berth. Holthus was the MVP and Shalter was an All-Tournament team choice at last week’s season-opening Utah Classic, as well. Also of note was an All-Tournament team berth for Loyola (Chicago)’s Laura Purcell, who is the younger sister of former Northwestern starter Julie Purcell (2003-06).

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Penn State: No. 2 Nittany Lions Sweep New Hampshire

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The No. 2 Penn State women’s volleyball team concluded play in the University of Pittsburgh Invitational with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-11) win against New Hampshire (0-6). Penn State (4-1) remains on the road next weekend, Sept. 9-10, traveling to the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic hosted by Stanford.

The Nittany Lions used a balance offense to defeat the Wildcats. Sophomore Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, N.J.), in her collegiate debut, both tallied six kills apiece. Sophomore Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) finished second on the team with five kills. Freshman Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with 30 assists and had a match-high six aces. Junior Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) led the team defensively with 10 digs, while sophomore Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) put up six blocks.

For the complete story, Click Here.

Minnesota: Gophers Earn Second-Straight Victory over No. 4 Texas

For the second-straight night the No. 11 University of Minnesota volleyball team earned a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-21 and 25-22) to upset No. 4 Texas, tonight in front of 5.342 fans. Minnesota (3-1 overall record) was led by senior Ariana Filho when she held a hitting percentage of .733 and 11 kills. Tori Dixon had a career-high five aces, breaking her previous best of three that she set last night, marking eight on the weekend.

The Horns’ back-to-back sweep losses mark the first time Texas has been swept in consecutive matches since Oct. 2 and 4, 2000 and the first time under head coach Jerritt Elliott.

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Nebraska: Huskers Bounce Back, Take Down Albany

Fort Collins, Colo.- After dropping a heartbreaking five-set match to Colorado State on Friday night, the Huskers rebounded to top Albany 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-12) Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena.

Hannah Werth led the Huskers against Albany, totaling 12 kills on 24 attacks and a hitting percentage of .417. Brooke Delano 10 kills, while Morgan Broekhuis tabbed nine of her own along with Gina Mancuso. Lauren Cook notched 34 assists and the Huskers totaled 41 team digs. NU held Albany to a .038 hitting percentage as they totaled 23 hitting errors.

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Ohio State: No. 22 OSU Drops Four Set Decision to No. 12 UCLA

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 22nd-ranked Ohio State (4-2 overall) women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 (25-21, 25-19,23-25, 25-23) to 12th-ranked UCLA (5-0) on the second day of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. OSU’s Emily Danks posted a season-high 21 points in the match with 16 kills (.268), one ace serve, a solo block and six assist blocks. Mari Hole added 13 points with 11 kills (.071) and two ace serves. UCLA’s Rachael Kidder posted a team-high 15.5 points with 15 kills (.243) and one assist block. Bojana Todorovic contributed 13 points with 11 kills (.269) and two aces with Mariana Aquino adding 12.5 points on eight kills (.400), two ace serves and five assist blocks.

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Indiana: Big Ten, National Record Propels IU to 3-0 Win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana Volleyball (4-2) defeated Buffalo 25-14, 25-18, 25-12 behind Samantha Thrower’s hot hand. The junior had 15 kills on 15 attempts, breaking the Big Ten record for hitting percentage and tying the national record for hitting percentage from a player with between 15-19 attempts. Thrower was named to the All-IU Classic team, along with Morgan Leach and tournament MVP Kelci Marschall.

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Wisconsin: Badgers end invitational with sweep of Western Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wisconsin volleyball team planned on ending tournament play at the N.C. State Courtyard Midtown Classic with a match against North Carolina A&T, but due to an injury, the Aggies withdrew from the tournament before Saturday morning. Despite the new opponent in Western Carolina, the Badgers still went on to sweep the Catamounts 25-12, 25-18, 25-14.  Wisconsin finished 2-1 in its tournament play and improves to 3-3 overall.

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Iowa: Hawkeyes Fall to Cyclones, 3-0

AMES, Iowa— The University of Iowa volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Iowa State Saturday afternoon inside Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones finished with a .319 attack percentage to claim the championship of the Iowa State Challenge. Iowa finished runner-up with a 2-1 tournament record.

“Iowa State controlled the match,” said head coach Sharon Dingman. “We did some good things, but Iowa State was in control. I thought our freshmen played well and I think we’ll take something good from the experience. We started four freshmen and they got a taste of what we can expect from the Big Ten. I think we’ll learn from this.”

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