Nebraska And Penn State Are The 2017 Big Ten Co-Champions
Early in the 2017 NCAA women’s volleyball season, it wasn’t clear which team would rise to the top of the Big Ten.
2016 champion Nebraska graduated four starters, and struggled out of the gates, losing three matches in preseason.
Sixteen-time conference champion Penn State looked strong with all its starters returning and a decorated senior class leading the way, but in the first match of the Big Ten season, the Nittany Lions hosted Nebraska and lost in straight sets.
That defeat would turn out to be Penn State’s only loss of the regular season, as the Nittany Lions finished the Big Ten 19-1 and won their 17th Big Ten championship. An absolute offensive machine, Penn State finished the regular season with a .347 team hitting percentage.
But the Nittany Lions weren’t the only ones to suffer just one loss in the conference season. Nebraska, the very same team that came between Penn State and an undefeated regular-season record, lost only to Wisconsin in Big Ten Play. Nebraska boasted the best opponent hitting percentage in the conference, holding opposing teams to a .153 average.
This fall, Penn State and Nebraska both added hardware to their already crowded trophy cases, but the true test between this pair of rivals may be yet to come. On December 14 in Kansas City, the Big Ten co-champions could face off in the NCAA tournament semifinals, if they can avoid a loss along the way.