Friday, March 25, 2011

Huge Weekend for the Big Ten

It’s the end of March and the conference teams will be running into their toughest matches – against each other.  It comes after a spring break week which was fun for some and disappointing for others.

The Ohio State women were shut out by the 21st ranked Tennessee Volunteers on the same day the Illinois women found no sunshine on their trip to California, losing 7-0 to San Diego, but both teams picked up wins later in the week.  For Iowa and Penn State, it was also one win and one loss in non-conference play, while the Wisconsin women dropped two matches.  Michigan only had won match to play, a shutout win over South Florida.  Iowa’s Sonja Molnar (left) earned the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor. The Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue women didn’t play this week.

The Indiana men picked up two wins out of the conference this week, as did Penn State and PurdueWisconsin fell to both Pepperdine and UC Irvine, while Iowa beat Florida Atlantic and Minnesota defeated Miami in a close one. Michigan lost one to LSU, but picked up a win from Michigan State.  Ohio State took out Pepperdine on their California trip and the Northwestern and Illini men had the week off. Buckeye Blaz Rola was the men’s Big Ten Athlete of the Week.

Coming up this weekend, the women still have some non-conference play left.  Today, Illinois is at Fresno State; Iowa goes to Ohio State; and Penn State Welcomes Temple. Northern Iowa will be at Wisconsin tomorrow, while Indiana goes to Michigan, Purdue plays Michigan State and Wisconsin win host Wisconsin-Whitewater.  Look for all Big Ten play on Sunday as Illinois is at Ohio State; Michigan State welcomes Indiana; Iowa is at Penn State; Purdue visits Michigan; and Wisconsin plays Northwestern.

On the men’s side, it’s a busy day as Indiana welcomes Michigan State; Ohio State goes to Iowa; Illinois hosts Penn State; Michigan is at Purdue; and Northwestern travels to Minnesota (Minnesota also has a non-conference match against Denver tomorrow).  Conference play continues on Sunday with Penn State at Iowa; Michigan State at Purdue; Northwestern at Wisconsin; and Michigan at Indiana before the Hoosiers bring in Vincennes for a rare Sunday night match.

I will be at one of the biggest matches of the weekend which probably constitutes the biggest rivalry in the Big Ten.  The Ohio State men will be at Illinois at noon (CST) Sunday.  You can follow my tweets during the match and come back here next week for the complete story.
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