August 27, 2011; State College, PA, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers players celebrate their winning match point at Rec Hall. Minnesota defeated Oregon 3 games to 2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Volleyball: First and Second Round Recap

The 2012 Women’s Volleyball Tournament kicked off last Thursday. Seven Big Ten teams earned a bid into the tournament and all seven teams won their first round matches. However, not every Big Ten team made it past the second round.

Here’s a look at how each Big Ten team fared in the first and second rounds of the tournament:

October 8, 2011; State College, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions outside hitter Deja McClenden (18) makes a shot past Illinois Fighting Illini setter Annie Luhrsen (11) at Rec Hall. Illinois defeated Penn State 3 sets to 2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Penn State Nittany Lions (31-2) - The top-ranked Nittany Lions did not lose a single set as they advanced to the Regionals of the Women’s Volleyball Tournament. In their first round match, Penn State defeated Binghamton, 25-11, 25-3, and 25-9. PSU was led by Deja McClendon who recorded twelve kills in the match. In their second round match, the Nittany Lions defeated Bowling Green, 25-15, 25-12, and 25-15. McClendon had another good match, but Ariel Scott led the team with eight kills. Penn State will play #16 Kentucky in the Regionals.

#4 Nebraska Cornhuskers (25-6) – Just like Penn State, Nebraska did not lose a single set during their two matches. In their first round match, the Cornhuskers defeated Maryland-East Shore, 25-14, 25-10, and 25-18. They had two players with double-digit kills as Gina Mancuso recorded twelve kills and Hannah Werth recorded eleven kills. In their second round match, Nebraska defeated Northern Iowa, 25-21, 25-16, and 25-21. Morgan Broekuis had the most kills on the team with ten as some of the Cornhuskers’ top attackers had a off night. Nebraska will play #13 Washington in the Regionals.

Ohio State (23-11) - Ohio State played well during the tournament, but did not make it to the Regionals. They won their first round match against Notre Dame in three sets, 25-16, 25-21, and 25-17. Kaitlyn Leary played well with twelve kills and six digs. In their second round match, the Buckeyes lost to #16 Kentucky in four sets, 25-18, 24-26, 15-25, and 18-25. Despite losing the match, Mari Hole and Leary played will with 18 and 14 kills respectively.

Purdue Boilermakers (23-10) - Purdue will be playing in the Regionals, but their road was not easy. They beat Colorado State in the first round, 25-20, 25-18, and 25-19. Purdue’s leading attacker was Ariel Turner who recorded 13 kills. In the second round, the Boilermakers beat #9 Florida State in five sets, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 23-25, and 15-11. Turner showed up yet again as she recorded 21 kills in the match. Purdue will play their Regionals match against #8 Minnesota.

#8 Minnesota Golden Gophers (26-7) - The Golden Gophers lost only one set as they advanced past the second round. In their first round match, Minnesota defeated Liberty in three sets, 25-21, 25-10, and 34-32. Minnesota had four players with double- digit kills. Katherine Harms had the most kills with twelve, but had the lowest hitting percentage on the team (.147). In their second round match, they defeated Creighton in four sets, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23, and 25-17. Dana Knudsen performed well with eleven kills and five blocks. Minnesota will play Purdue in the Regionals.

Michigan Wolverines (25-11) – The Michigan Wolverines shockingly made it to the Regionals in upset fashion. In the first round, Michigan beat Tennessee in five sets, 25-22, 25-17, 22-25, 19-25, and 15-10. The Wolverines had two players with 20+ kills in the match. Molly Toon had 20 kills while Lexi Erwin had an amazing 26 kills. Then, Michigan upset #10 Louisville in the second round. They won in four sets, 25-15, 22-25, 25-22, and 27-25. Erwin recorded 24 kills while Krystalyn Goode had six block assists. Michigan will play Michigan State in the Regionals.

Michigan State Spartans (25-9) - Just like their interstate rival, the Spartans made it to the Regionals in upset fashion. In the first round, MSU had to avoid being upset themselves as it took five sets to defeat San Diego, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 18-25, and 25-11. Lauren Wicinski led her team offensively with 20 kills. She also assisted on five blocks. In the second round, Michigan State knocked off defending champion, #7 UCLA, in four sets, 25-17, 29-27, 18-25, and 25-22. Wicinski was at it again as she recorded 23 kills against the Bruins. MSU will play their interstate rival, Michigan, in the Regionals.

Regionals begin on December 7th.

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