Around the Big Ten (Volleyball): October 20

Story posted October 21, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew Scalzo

Another week has gone by and this week proves to be one of the most exciting weeks for Big Ten volleyball this year. The same six teams are in the AVCA top-15 with a little bit of movement: No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Purdue, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 12 Minnesota  and No. 14 Penn State.

All the top teams will be facing one another in the coming weeks and it starts this weekend.

Madness in the Upper Midwest

While this past week there weren’t any problems for Minnesota and Wisconsin, this weekend proves to be a test with Ohio State and Penn State coming to town for both schools.

On Friday, the Golden Gophers will take on the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m., while the Badgers face the Buckeyes at 9 p.m., both matches will be on the Big Ten Network.

On Saturday, Penn State will travel to Madison for a clash with Wisconsin at 7 p.m. on BTN. The weekend finishes Sunday with Minnesota versus Ohio State at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

Minnesota only played one match over the weekend when it brought out the brooms against the Hoosiers. Redshirt seniors Stephanie Samedy and Airi Miyabe field the Gophers with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.

For Wisconsin, they’re the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the polls and they proved why with sweeps over Michigan State and Michigan this weekend.

All-American Dana Rettke continued her strong year posting nine and 12 kills in the wins. She is currently second in the Big Ten in hitting percentage with a clip of .488.

Penn State went 1-1 over the weekend, with a win over Rutgers in the Dig Pink Match, but fell to Purdue on Sunday. Both Kaitlyn Hord and Jonni Parker were outstanding for the Nittany Lions, but the main star was setter Gabby Blossom.

Blossom was named Big Ten Co-Setter of the Week, she finished the weekend with 100 assists and 40 digs across two matches.

The other Big Ten Co-Setter of the Week was Mac Podraza, as she guided Ohio State to a perfect weekend, picking up wins over Purdue, 3-1 and Rutgers, 3-0. Arica Davis also received Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.

Podraza notched 81 assists and 18 digs, while Davis totaled hit .409, 13 kills and 11 blocks, through seven sets.

The Boilermakers look to knock the red-hot Cornhuskers off the tracks

Two of the Big Ten’s best get ready to square off in a pivotal match as No. 9 Nebraska welcomes No. 7 Purdue to the Devaney Center on Sunday at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network.

The Cornhuskers sit at 14-3 overall and a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten play and this past week picked up sweeps against Indiana and Illinois.

Junior Madi Kubik continued her impressive campaign clocking in 19 kills vs the Illini, while setter Nicklin Hames facilitated the offense with 32 assists.

Meanwhile, the Boilermakers are also 14-3 overall and split their matches this weekend. Purdue fell to Ohio State on Friday but responded with a thrilling win over Penn State in five sets on Sunday.

Caitlyn Newton paced Purdue in both matches with 16 and 26 kills, respectively. Meanwhile, Jena Otec received Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after totaling 52 digs over the weekend.

Before the two foes meet, they both have a match Wednesday night. Nebraska takes on Iowa, while Purdue hosts Michigan State.

Nebraska and Purdue will be at 9 p.m. on Sunday from Lincoln, the match will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network.

Matthew Scalzo is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

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Matt Scalzo

Second Year / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew “Matt” Scalzo is a second-year from Ridgefield, Connecticut majoring in broadcast journalism. Matt is a Basketball Insider, broadcaster and writer for the sports department. With CommRadio he has called football, volleyball, basketball and hockey games. Matt is also the Penn State Women’s Volleyball play-by-play broadcaster calling games on both TV and radio. He has written countless articles and appeared on podcasts, live shows and is a part of The Extra Point, a talk show centered around the NFL. If you want to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).