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Fountain of Youth for Women’s Volleyball

Trailing two sets to zero and staring at the possibility of an 0-2 start to the season, a familiar face was introduced to the Rec Hall crowd during the Penn State vs. USC Women’s Volleyball match last Saturday night.  Four-time national champion and 2010 National Player of the year Blair Brown was presented with an award from Penn State athletic director Tim Curley.  Spectators roared in approval, but Brown was not suited up in uniform to help the struggling Nittany Lions.  Neither was Arielle Wilson, nor Alyssa D”Errico.  The Nittany Lions stormed back by winning three straight sets to shock No. 2 USC and send a message that a new era of Penn State volleyball is underway.  The previous night, the 94- match winning streak at home had been snapped, and many lessons were learned from the loss.

With only four upperclassmen on the roster this year, here are some fresh faces to look for when you’re watching a match:

Nia Grant (Left):  Grant’s freshman year is off to a fast start.  She registered 11 kills against USC and was a central figure in the comeback win. Number 7

Katie Slay (Right):  Known for her signature red hair and strong performance in the last year’s National Championship game, Slay has totaled nine blocks through the first two games and should play an even bigger role through the rest of the season. Number 16

Deja McClendon (Left): McClendon began to make a name for herself last year as a freshman but was often overshadowed by the veteran squad.  As she becomes the next face of Penn State Volleyball, be sure to look for more performances like last Saturday’s. Number 18

Micha Hancock (Right): In the second match of her collegiate career, Hancock registered 45 assists and 7 kills, also becoming a fan favorite for her rocket serve and six aces.  If she keeps it up, there may need to be a Facebook group for Micha, much like this oneNumber 12

About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

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