Courtesy: Penn State Athletics
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 5 Penn State women’s volleyball teams head to Palo Alto, California for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge hosted by Stanford on September 7-8. The Nittany Lions will play host No. 4 Stanford on Friday evening at 11 p.m. ET, and will play No. 18 Oregon at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 8.
Friday, September 7
#9 (AVCA 5) Penn State at #2/(AVCA 4) Stanford
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Saturday, September 8
#9 (AVCA 5) Penn State vs. #18/#18 Oregon
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VS. THE FIELD
Penn State (5-0) had a 12-9 all-time record against Stanford (4-1), including going 2-0 against them in the 2017 season. Oregon (4-2) has a 2-1 advantage over the Nittany Lions, but the two squads haven’t squared off since 2012.
Penn State welcomes 10 newcomers to their line-up this season, as Taylor Leath and Bayleigh Hoffman join as transfers, and Gabby Blossom, Allyson Cathey, Serena Gray, Jenna Hampton, Brooklynn Hill, Kaitlyn Hord, Jonni Parker, and Amanda Phegley all combine to make up the No. 1 recruiting class for 2018 according to PrepVolleyball.com.
The Nittany Lions went 3-0 in the opening weekend, taking down EKU, UMBC, and Navy all 3-0. Taylor Leath was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Nia Reed and Kendall White joined her on the All-Tournament Team.
The Nittany Lions went 2-0 at the Penn State Invitational last weekend. Penn State swept both Temple and Texas A&M to be the only undefeated team at the tournament. Against Temple, the Nittany Lions had a very balanced offense as Bryanna Weiskircher dished out 27 assists. Against A&M, Jonni Parker led the way with 11 kills, while Weiskircher added a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs. Weiskircher was named the Penn State Invitational MVP, while Serena Gray and Kaitlyn Hord were named All-Tournament Team.
Kendall White scooped up 48 digs over the first three matches of the season, putting her at 1,010 for her career. She is the first to surpass 1,000 since Dom Gonzalez in 2011-14. White is now at 1,038.
Penn State Career Top-10 Digs
1. 1,957 Kaleena Walters, 2002-05
2. 1,685 Kim Kumfer, 1989-92
3. 1,522 Noelle Zientara, 1987-90
4. 1,474 Dominique Gonzalez, 2011-14
5. 1,313 Ellen Hensler, 1983-86
6. 1,306 Roberta Holehouse, 2005-08
7. 1,278 Salima Davidson, 1991-94
8. 1,265 Michelle Jaworski, 1987-90
9. 1,245 Alyssa D’Errico, 2007-10
10. 1,207 Sam Tortorello, 2002-05
Taylor Leath is currently at 970 kills for her collegiate career. She averaged 3.44 kills per set over the first weekend of play, and is just 30 kills away from reaching the elusive 1,000. In her first three years at UNC, Leath put down 928 kills.
Head coach Russ Rose is in his 40th season at the helm of the Nittany Lions.
- Has led Penn State to 7 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships, tied for most in the nation by any institution. He is the only coach to win 7 NCAA Women’s Volleyball titles.
- In 1999, the Nittany Lions became the first Big Ten team to win the NCAA Women’s Volleyball title.
- Has directed the Nittany Lions to 17 Big Ten Championships, 3 times more than the next closest team in Big Ten history (Wisconsin, 5).
- Entering this weekend, Coach Rose has a 1,251-198 career record. He is the winningest Div. I coach by percentage all-time (86.3%), and is the winningest active Div. I Coach in wins (1,249), and winning percentage (86.3%).
- Selected AVCA National Coach of the Year 5 times and Big Ten Coach of the Year 16 times, the most of any Big Ten coach all-time.
- Inducted into AVCA Hall of Fame in 2007
- Led Penn State to a historic 109 consecutive victories and four consecutive NCAA titles from 2007-10.
- Has produced 44 All-Americans, for a total of 97 All-America accolades, including 4 AVCA National Players of the Year.
- Has produced 14 Big Ten Players of the Year.
- Has had 12 different students earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors a total of 19 times, with 4 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans of the Year in women’s volleyball.
- Has had 191 Academic All-Big Ten selections.
- Has sent 5 former athletes to the Olympics and 25 have trained with the Team USA, with multiple other former players on other international teams. The 2016 U.S. Olympic team featured former Nittany Lions Christa (Harmotto) Dietzen and Alisha Glass, with Megan (Hodge) Easy and Nicole Fawcett serving as alternates on the 2016 U.S. National Team.
- Under Coach Rose, Penn State is one of only two schools that has participated in all 37 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships