Rachel VanMeter and the Illini are picked fifth in the Big Ten.
Aug. 17, 2005
Champaign, Ill. - Illinois senior outside hitter Rachel VanMeter was selected Pre-season All-Big Ten by the league's coaches the conference office announced today. The coaches also picked the Illini fifth in the conference.
VanMeter, an Honorable Mention All-Conference selection a year ago, is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She earned all-tournament honors at all three regular season tournaments the Illini participated in a year ago, including earning MVP honors at the 2004 State Farm Illini Classic and the Hurricane Frances Classic at Miami (Ohio). VanMeter had the game-winning kill in the Illini's upset of No. 1 USC in the Illini Classic title game. She ranks seventh in Illinois history with 12 20+ kills matches and was fourth in the Big Ten in kills per game (4.35) in 2004. VanMeter has 990 kills for her career.
Of the 12 players on the Pre-season All-Big Ten team, VanMeter is one of only four to be named to the team unanimously, joining Kelly Bowman and Paula Gentil of Minnesota and Sam Tortorello from Penn State.
Illinois, meanwhile, is picked fifth in the conference behind four conference teams ranked in the top 12 in the nation. Defending conference champion Penn State, national runner-up Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio State garnered the first four positions ahead of Illinois and Purdue, who tied with for fifth. Michigan is predicted seventh followed by Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa, and Indiana.
The Illini host the annual Alumni Event Saturday at 7 p.m. and open the regular season Aug. 26 at Illinois State