Wisconsin picked to repeat as B1G set to conduct volleyball media days

After blazing a new path last year as the first conference to conduct volleyball media days, the Big Ten is running it back.

The perennially dominant NCAA league will hold its second preseason event on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning at the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago. It remains the only conference that follows the lead of football and basketball and hosts a volleyball-specific event bringing together media, coaches and players.

The format will largely remain the same, with two players and the head coach from the respective 14 schools meeting with members of the media for up to 20 minutes. In addition, they will also record multimedia content for BTN, including interviews for a volleyball special and creating digital and social media content. On Tuesday night, the student-athletes and coaches from all 14 schools will gather for dinner to celebrate Big Ten volleyball.

Each session of the media days will feature three of the top teams from last year. They will begin to answer some of the burning questions:

— Will Wisconsin stick with the 6-2 and how will it feature all its hitters?

— How will Nebraska deal with its seven newcomers and lack of seniors? How does Minnesota and Michigan deal with regime changes?

— Will Purdue take a step forward led by its young hitters? How will Penn State’s group of transfers gel into a cohesive unit?

— Will Emily Londot stay on the right side in Ohio State’s reboot?

— Can Illinois breakthrough after four straight seventh-place finishes?

— Will Maryland or Indiana crack into the top half?

— Will Michigan State and Iowa make progress under second-year coaches?

Here is Tuesday’s lineup:

Indiana — Coach Steve Aird, Grae Gosnell, Camryn Haworth
Michigan — Coach Erin Virtue, Hannah Grant, Allison Jacobs
Michigan State — Coach Leah Johnson, Julia Bishop, Aliyah Moore
Nebraska — Coach John Cook, Merritt Beason, Lexi Rodriguez
Northwestern — Coach Shane Davis, Alexa Rousseau, Ellee Stinson
Ohio State — Coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg, Emily Londot, Rylee Rader
Purdue — Coach Dave Shondell, Eva Hudson, Maddie Schermerhorn

And Wednesday’s:

Illinois — Coach Chris Tamas, Brooke Mosher, Raina Terry
Iowa — Coach Jim Barnes, Delaney McSweeney, Bailey Ortega
Maryland — Coach Adam Hughes, Sydney Dowler, Sam Csire
Minnesota — Coach Keegan Cook, Taylor Landfair, Melani Shaffmaster
Penn State — Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley, Allie Holland, Zoe Weatherington
Rutgers — Coach Caitlin Schweihofer, Taylor Humphrey, Alissa Kinkela
Wisconsin — Coach Kelly Sheffield, Izzy Ashburn, MJ Hammill

Haworth and Landfair are the only players returning to the event. Meanwhile, Keegan Cook (who left Washington) and Virtue (who has worked in the Big Ten an is an assistant on the USA Volleyball women’s team) will make their debuts after being hired during the offseason.

The league also saw several high-profile transfers between league members, but the only newcomer slated to appear is Beason, who joined the Huskers after playing two years at Florida.

The newcomers were well-represented on the Big Ten all-conference preseason team, which was released on Friday.

The group included five intraconference transfers: Kylie Murr, who went from Ohio State to Minnesota; Jess Mruzik, Michigan to Penn State; Mac Podraza, Ohio State to Penn State; Carter Booth, Minnesota to Wisconsin; and Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern to Wisconsin.

Podraza, the 2022 Big Ten setter of the year, Nebraska libero Lexi Rodriguez and Purdue outside hitter Eva Hudson were the only unanimous selections (noted with asterisks).

Wisconsin led with four players: Booth, Thomas-Ailara, junior outside hitter Sarah Franklin and senior opposite Deveyn Robinson.

Ohio State and Minnesota each had two players earn preseason honors. Opposite (outside?) Emily Londot and middle blocker Rylee Rader, both seniors, led the Buckeyes. At the same time, the Gophers were represented by senior setter Melanie Schaffmaster and junior outside Taylor Landfair, last year’s Big Ten player of the year.

Haworth and senior outside Raina Terry of Illinois rounded out the team.

Last December marked the first time since 2006 when the B1G did not have a team reach the NCAA national semifinals. Wisconsin and Ohio State lost in the regional final, while Minnesota, Nebraska and Penn State exited the postseason in the regional semifinal.

The coaches picked Wisconsin to win the league for its fifth straight championship. The rest of the predictions closely resembled how the teams finished last season.

The Badgers were followed by last year’s runner-up, Nebraska, and Minnesota, which placed third in 2022. The one change in the top half was Ohio State dropping from tied for third to a predicted finish of sixth after the Buckeyes lost five super seniors to the transfer portal. Penn State was picked to finish fourth and Purdue was fifth.

Illinois was tabbed seventh, followed by Indiana and Maryland while Michigan and Northwestern tied for 10th. Michigan State, Iowa and Rutgers were picked to mirror their finish from a year ago at the bottom of the league.


Raina Terry, Illinois, Sr., Outside Hitter
Camryn Haworth, Indiana, Jr., Setter
Taylor Landfair, Minnesota, Jr., Outside Hitter
Kylie Murr, Minnesota, Sr., Libero
Melanie Schaffmaster, Minnesota, Sr., Setter
*Lexi Rodriguez, Nebraska, Jr., Libero
Emily Londot, Ohio State, Sr., Opposite
Rylee Rader, Ohio State, Sr., Middle Blocker
Jess Mruzik, Penn State, Sr., Outside Hitter
*Mac Podraza, Penn State, Gr., Setter
*Eva Hudson, Purdue, So., Outside Hitter
Carter Booth, Wisconsin, So., Middle Blocker
Sarah Franklin, Wisconsin, Jr., Outside Hitter
Devyn Robinson, Wisconsin, Sr., Opposite
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Wisconsin, Gr., Outside Hitter


 1. Wisconsin
2. Nebraska
3. Minnesota
4. Penn State
5. Purdue
6. Ohio State
7. Illinois
8. Indiana
9. Maryland
10t. Michigan
10t. Northwestern
12. Michigan State
13. Iowa
14. Rutgers

Click here to watch the event on Big Ten Network+, which is offering a subscription discount, as well.

Wisconsin wins the 2022 Big Ten titlle

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