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    Northwestern Starts Second Half of Big Ten Schedule on Road

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Northwestern is 12-8 overall, 2-7 in the Big Ten heading into the second half of the conference season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Northwestern is 12-8 overall, 2-7 in the Big Ten heading into the second half of the conference season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Oct. 26, 2005

    Northwestern Match Notes in PDF Format
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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The second round of the Big Ten schedule gets underway this weekend for Northwestern, with the Wildcats hitting the road to face No. 19 Ohio State and No. 3 Penn State.

    NU's match with the Buckeyes begins at 6 p.m. CT Friday night, with the contest against the Nittany Lions slated for 7 p.m. CT.

    In Northwestern's first meetings this season against its foes for this weekend, PSU swept the Wildcats before NU took the Buckeyes to five games in a 3-2 Northwestern loss. Both of those matches were at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    Northwestern finished the first trip through the Big Ten schedule in a tie for seventh place with Iowa and Michigan State.

    With their NCAA Tournament hopes very much alive at 12-8 overall -- 3-7 in perhaps the country's best conference -- the Wildcats are still in position for a berth, but must make a healthy push over the final 10 matches of the season.

    Senior Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) sits just one dig shy of second place on NU's all-time list, and 23 digs short of setting the career record. She put up 27 and 26 digs in each of the Wildcats' last two matches.

    Ohio State is in a tie for third in the conference standings with Purdue at 7-3. The Buckeyes are coming off a 2-0 weekend, which included a sweep of Minnesota.

    Marisa Main is the fourth-best hitter in the conference with a .349 hitting percentage to go along with 12.75 for the Ohio State setter.

    Danielle Meyer ranks third in the league with 5.00 kills per game.

    Penn State is the Big Ten's lone unbeaten at 10-0 in the conference, two matches ahead of second-place Wisconsin.

    The Nittany Lions boast two of the Big Ten's top three hitters in Melissa Walbridge (.383) and Christa Harmotto (.376). Penn State also showcases one of the top setters in the nation in Sam Tortorello, who leads the conference with 13.36 assists per game.