Big Ten 2023, News.

Penn State Week 3

Penn State players celebrate a big road win against Minnesota (Photo: Penn State)

Three of the four teams that went undefeated in the opening week of the season in the Big Ten women’s volleyball conference were able to preserve their statuses after the conclusion of week two, on Sunday, including Penn State.

The 17-time Big Ten winners join defending champions Wisconsin and powerhouse Nebraska as the three programs that continue with a clean record after the first four matches of conference play.

  • Watch the Big Ten Volleyball matches live on VBTV.

The Nittany Lions displayed strength to win road matches in consecutive days, topping Illinois 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20) on Friday and going to Minneapolis to beat Minnesota 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 28-26) on Saturday.

With 12 points against the Fighting Illini and another 24 against the Golden Gophers, senior Jess Mruzik was one of Penn State’s standouts over the weekend. The outside hitter, who had double-doubles in both matches, entered the weekend as the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, having been recognized for her performances on the opening weekend of the season as well.

Graduate setter Mac Podraza, who produced 89 assists across the two matches, and senior middle blocker Taylor Trammell, who had a career-high 16 kills against Minnesota, were other players with strong performances for Penn State over the weekend.

Defending champions Wisconsin are yet to lose a set after four matches. This week, they topped Ohio State on the road 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18) on Wednesday and Michigan also in straight sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-14) at home on Sunday.

Senior opposite Devyn Robinson, with 26 points amassed across both matches, and senior outside hitter Sarah Franklin, who produced 25, were the main offensive weapons for the Badgers this weekend.

“One thing we say in the locker room a lot is just stacking the good,” Robinson said. “We want to be consistently good and not occasionally great.”

The third undefeated team of the weekend, Nebraska survived two road matches this weekend, battling Purdue in five sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12) on Friday and downing Indiana in four (23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-19) on Saturday.

Freshmen Harper Murray and Bergen Reilly came up big for the Cornhuskers in both matches. Murray led the team’s offense with 22 points against Purdue and another 17 against Indiana while Reilly produced 107 assists across both matches.

Purdue, which had two wins on week one, didn’t get the same success this weekend. Two days after falling to Nebraska in the tie-breaker, they dropped a home match to Northwestern, also in five sets (17-25, 15-25, 27-25, 25-11, 15-12).

The third week of Big Ten conference play begins on Wednesday, with two matches – another 12 matches will be played on Friday and Saturday. Three of these encounters will be streamed live for VBTV subscribers around the world – Rutgers vs. Ohio State and Penn State vs. Indiana, on Friday, at 19:00 local time (23:00 UTC), and Illinois vs. Wisconsin, on Saturday, at 18:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

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