Penn State Heads To Illinois For Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge

  0 volleymob | September 07th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

 The third ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team heads to Champaign, Ill., for two matches this weekend as they will take on Colorado and No. 4 Stanford in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge on the University of Illinois campus.

The Nittany Lions will take on Colorado on Friday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET, and will follow it up with a 6:00 p.m. match against No. 4 Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 9.


>> This weekend will be the second of two meetings with the Cardinal in eight days. Penn State holds an 11-9 advantage over Stanford after the Nittany Lions’ 3-1 victory in College Station, Texas, last weekend.  In the match, Stanford saw sophomore outside Kathryn Plummer go off for her career high with 27 kills, but PSU countered with a career performance from Abby Detering, with 11 kills, 23 assists, and 10 digs.

>> Last season, Colorado hosted the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, and when the Nittany Lions met up with the Buffs, Colorado got the advantage, 3-2. Tori Gorrell had a career-high 14 kills in that match, and Simone Lee led the way with 19. Penn State led in kills, 60-55, but had 33 attacking errors including 12 service errors and Colorado held the .220 to .154 advantage in hitting percentage for the contest.

>> Haleigh Washington was the first Nittany Lion to earn a weekly conference award this season as she was named the Big Ten Player of the Week (9/4). She was also then named the Sports Impact / AVCA National Player of the Week for the first time in her career.

>> Abby Detering recorded her first career triple double against Stanford (9/1) with a career-high 11 kills, 23 assists, and 10 digs. Detering was named espnW National Player of the Week.

>>  After the second weekend of action, Penn State is No. 3 in the nation in hitting percentage at .368 as a team. Senior Haleigh Washington holds the top spot for the highest hitting percentage for an individual with a clip of 0.575.

>> At the WVU tournament, Haleigh Washington was named MVP, and Simone Lee was named to the All-Tournament team.

>> At the Texas A&M Tournament, Simone Lee was named MVP,Haleigh Washington was named ‘Best Blocker’ and Abby Detering was named “Best Setter.’

>> This is the 21st season under Coach Russ Rose that Penn State has started a season with a 5-0 record.

>> Since 1979 under Coach Russ Rose, the Nittany Lions have had a 381-55 (.874) record during September. However, since 1995, the Lions are 223-21 for a 91.4-percent mark.

>> Penn State moved up two spots in the Week Two poll with a ranking of No. 3 from the AVCA. Seven Big Ten teams remain ranked in the Aug. 28 poll: Minnesota (1), Wisconsin (6), Nebraska (12), Michigan (16), Purdue (17), Michigan State (21) and Ohio State (24).

>> All six starters from the 2016 season and a total of 17 letter winners return to the court for Penn State. The Nittany Lions also welcome four newcomers.

>> The Big Ten coaches selected the Nittany Lions as the preseason favorite for 2017, marking the fourth time in the past five seasons and the 11th in the last 13 that Penn State has been tabbed as the preseason favorite.

>> Three Penn State’s seniors, Ali FranttiSimone Lee and Haleigh Washington, were named to the preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball team. Minnesota and Penn State had three honorees each.

>> A 12-day tour of Brazil, Penn State volleyball’s fifth-ever foreign tour, was the highlight of Penn State’s 2017 spring. The Nittany Lions traveled to Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro among other communities and visited iconic locations, including Paulista Avenue, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Penn State played at the Brazilian Olympic volleyball training site against top-tier competition and enjoyed the intercultural exchange.

>> The Nittany Lions’ 15-match win streak in 2016 (Sept. 9-Oct. 22) was the second longest in the country during the span, topped only by No. 5 San Diego (16 straight).

>> Of its 24 victories in 2016, Penn State earned 19 (79%) by way of a 3-0 sweep.

>> Penn State saw four members of its team land postseason Big Ten honors, with Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington both earning unanimous All-Big Ten honors, while Tori Gorrell and Kendall White made the All-Freshmen Team.

>> Haleigh Washington added the 18th CoSIDA Academic All-America honor (third team, 2016) to Penn State’s list of accolades. She is the 12th Nittany Lion to be recognized nationally through the program for academic achievement. Washington earned second-team honors in 2015.

WEEKLY HONORS: Week of Sept. 4

Haleigh Washington – Big Ten Player of the Week, Sports Impact/AVCA National Player of the Week

Abby Detering – espnW National Player of the Week, The Daily Collegian Player of the Week, Player of the Week, Highmark Student-Athlete of the Week


The then-fifth ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team topped the then top-ranked Stanford Cardinal, 3-1; 26-24, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19, in a neutral site battle in Reed Arena on the campus of Texas A&M on Sept. 1, 2017.

The Nittany Lions were led by dual-threat senior Abby Detering (Mentor, Ohio). Detering, who has been playing both right side and setter, finished the evening with her first career triple-double. Her 11 kills were a career-high while putting the ball away on a clip of .455. Detering also dished out a team-high 23 assists, while scooping up 10 digs to tally the triple-double.


Simone Lee put down 30 kills for just the second time in her career as she helped the Nittany Lions to a 3-2 win over Texas A&M in the Aggies’ home arena. Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) found her offensive rhythm early against the Aggies and tallied 12 kills through the first two sets alone. The senior finished the match with 30 at a clip of .456. She was reliable through each set, providing offense both in the front row and with a thundering back row attack.


Senior Ali Frantti put down 11 kills on the opening weekend of action to become the 26th Nittany Lion with 1,000 career kills. Frantti is the first Penn State volleyball player to join the 1,000-kill ranks since Megan Courtney (2012-15). Frantti needs 17 kills to move into the Nittany Lion top-25 list for career kills.


Penn State went 1-2 against No. 1’s in 2016. Penn State bested the top team in the nation when they took down Minnesota, 3-2 (29-27, 21-25, 23-25, 25-14, 15-10) on Oct. 5, 2016, in the Rec. The two L’s came against Nebraska on No. 4, 2016, and Nov. 16, 2016.


Penn State moved up to No. 3 team in the nation with the AVCA Week Two Poll released Sept. 4.


Penn State owns a 600-115 (.839) combined series record against its 2017 opponents, including a 454-67 (.873) mark in Big Ten matches since joining the conference in 1991. The Nittany Lions own a 539-104 (.840) mark all-time against current Big Ten opponents.


Including a 16-2 mark in 2016, Penn State owns a 611-38 (.942) all-time record at home in Rec Hall. Penn State is 269-22 all-time against current Big Ten opponents at Rec Hall. Only the Buckeyes have defeated the Nittany Lions on their home court more than three times in program history, having topped PSU five times. Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan State and Nebraska are the only four teams to beat PSU at home more than once.


Penn State opens the season ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten Preseason Poll, released by the conference early this week. The Big Ten Preseason poll is selected by votes from all 14 conference head coaches.


Seniors Ali FranttiSimone Lee and Haleigh Washington have been named to the 2017 Preseason Big Ten Volleyball Team. It’s the third time Frantti and Washington have earned the preseason honors and the first year for Lee to be included on the list.

Mr. 1,200

With a 3-0 win over Michigan State on Sept. 30, 2016, Russ Rose became the first active Division I volleyball coach to reach the 1,200-win mark. Rose holds the title of winningest coach in Division I, tallying a 1,213-196 record to date. Following the retirement of Hawaii’s Dave Shoji, Rose is the only active coach with 1,200 or more wins. Along with Shoji and former UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski, the three are the only DI coaches in NCAA women’s volleyball coaching history to total 1,100 or more victories.


Penn State will finally open up at Rec Hall on Friday, Sept. 15 as they take on Yale at 7:30 p.m. in the second match of the Penn State Classic. They will openSaturday with a 10 a.m. match against Wake Forest and will take on Ohio at 4 p.m. Single Match tickets are available now! Buy here:

Press Release courtesy of Penn State Athletics.

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