Preseason volleyball rankings place Hoosiers at bottom of Big Ten

Tim Miles

Tim Miles

"We went from a 10-week season to a nine-week season", Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner said Wednesday on the Big Ten Network.

(Lincoln) - Penn State was tabbed as the preseason volleyball favorite in the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.

Head coach Greg Gard of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City.

Penn State returns 15 letterwinners and welcomes in four newcomers to comprise the 2017 roster.

Due to a scheduling quirk, the first two league games come in the middle of the non-conference schedule, right after the contest with Virginia. Marquette will be another tough game and their last test before they start Big Ten play as they should handle their last four non-conference games easily.

The Huskers will open the season with home games Saturday, Nov. 11 against Eastern Illinois and Monday, Nov. 13, against North Texas.

The Iowa men will play 17 home games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including a pair of exhibition games (on October 27 and November 2), before the regular season tips off November 10 against Chicago State. The Hawkeyes will compete against Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, and Ohio State twice. The Spartans will add one more non-conference opponent at a later date. The Hawkeyes will be home for the games on December 2 (Penn State), Jan. 2 (Michigan) and Jan. 4 (Ohio State).

Iowa follows that December 2 league opener with a December 4 game at IN, then plays six more non-conference games before returning to Big Ten play IN January.

"The schedule provides great opportunities for our program and offers our fans a tremendous slate of opponents at the RAC, nine of which competed in the postseason previous year", coach Steve Pikiell said in a statement.

Tipoff times and TV/online coverage will be announced at later dates.

December 3 vs. Rutgers - Sure, Rutgers finished 14 in the Big Ten with a 3-15 record last season, but the Scarlet Knights should be much improved in Steve Pikiell's second season.

With Michigan serving as the B1G opener for 2017-18, Penn State has now met 11 of the 13 members in conference opening games.

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