Big ten volleyball power rankings, dec. 1 sports gasco abu dhabi address


Penn State finished its regular season by winning a pair of matches in four sets over tournament teams Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Nittany Lions’ only loss this year was to Nebraska early in the conference season, when the Huskers swept them on Penn State’s home turf. The team received the top overall seed in this year’s tournament and will host Howard on Friday. The other first-round game in University Park is a matchup between Pittsburgh and VCU. This is the 37th consecutive season the team has qualified for the NCAA tournament.

The Golden Gophers enter the NCAA tournament on the same seeding line as Nebraska. Minnesota is the third-ranked No. 2 seed, translating to the seventh overall seed. The team lost two of its last three matches coming into the tournament, dropping games against Illinois and Penn State, with a sweep of Rutgers in between. Minnesota plays North Dakota in a border battle on Friday, with the University of Northern Iowa and Louisville as the other two teams playing in Minneapolis this weekend.

Michigan State heads to Omaha for its first round matchup in the NCAA tournament. The Spartans play Missouri State on Friday and either Creighton or Coastal Carolina on Saturday if they win. MSU comes into the tournament as the winner of two of its last three games, since the Spartans knocked off Indiana twice in one week, but lost to Purdue in between. Michigan State and Purdue earned No. 6 seeds in their regions.

Purdue lost two of its last three games as it prepared for the NCAA tournament. Both setbacks came against Michigan in four sets. Despite the two losses, the Boilermakers knocked off Michigan State in their season finale. The team now travels to Salt Lake City to face High Point on Friday. A win against the Panthers will lead to a matchup against Utah or Cleveland State on Saturday.

The Fighting Illini earned an NCAA tournament spot, thanks in no small part to a strong final push in Big Ten play. Illinois responded to a three-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak that saw it take down Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio State. For its efforts, the team travels to Seattle to face Hawaii on Friday. If the Fighting Illini come out on top over the Rainbow Warriors, they will play either Washington or LIU Brooklyn on Saturday.

Wisconsin did not lose a game in non-conference play, but still finished only one game above .500 in the rugged Big Ten Conference. Despite its middling conference play, the team was victorious in three of its final four matches, only losing to Penn State. The Badgers will not face another Big Ten team unless they make it to the Sweet 16, where there is the potential to face Michigan, which they swept in their one matchup this year. Wisconsin heads to Ames, Iowa, for a Friday fight against Marquette. A victory would mean playing the winner of the Iowa State vs. Princeton game.

The last Big Ten team to earn a postseason berth was Michigan, which travels to Palo Alto, California, to play a Friday match against Colorado State, with the winner moving on to play either No. 3 overall seed Stanford or California State, Bakersfield. The Wolverines won five straight matches to end the year, three of which came against fellow NCAA qualifiers. They vanquished Michigan State and then Purdue twice before a win over Indiana in their final regular-season game.

The end of the season was tough to swallow for the Buckeyes as the team lost four of its final five games, including a heartbreaking five-set loss in its season finale against Illinois. The team also lost twice to Iowa and then to Nebraska with its only win during the stretch against Maryland. This year was a disappointing step back for a program that qualified for the NCAA tournament last year with a 22-13 record.

Maryland replaces Iowa in this week’s set of rankings. The two teams finished with the same conference record, but the Terrapins sandwiched losses to Nebraska and Ohio State with wins against Iowa and Northwestern to end the year. Maryland also played one fewer game than Iowa, and the Hawkeyes lost their additional game. This season was a marked improvement for Maryland, with the team winning six more games to improve on a 12-20 2016 season. Three of those wins improved on last season’s conference mark.