Women’s Volleyball Earns No. 1 Ranking
The Penn State women’s volleyball team has gained the No. 1 spot in the nation in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll after a 2-0 weekend to open the season. The Nittany Lions earned 50 of 60 first-place votes in the season’s first poll after winning the Penn State Invitational this weekend.
The women’s volleyball team opened the season with a perfect weekend, sweeping the competition in the tournament on Saturday. The team topped the Polish National Team in an exhibition on Friday night in straight sets.
The Nittany Lions started the tournament against Syracuse on Saturday morning, and their victory came a little easier than the football team’s game against the Orange on the same day. The women’s volleyball team defeated Syracuse in straight sets to kick off the four-team tournament.
Thanks to an outstanding .414 hitting percentage, they were able to win their first set of the season to the tune of a commanding 25-16 score. They took the second set 25-15 and the third set 25-17 to finish the sweep of ‘Cuse and head on to the finals of the Penn State Invitational against the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals later Saturday.
Senior Katie Slay was a standout in the opening match, posting five kills in the three sets. Aiyana Whitney added six kills and Micha Hancock had 30 assists and seven digs in the match against Syracuse.
Their second game on Saturday saw more of the same, as the women’s volleyball team handily downed Louisville to take the tournament and start their season 2-0. The Nittany Lions beat the Cardinals in straight sets (25-15, 25-16, 25-13) to finish off an impressive season-opening weekend.
“I thought it was a good match against a very competitive opponent,” coach Russ Rose said. “They have five seniors and the two freshmen outside hitters are very athletic. We had to play well.”
Micha Hancock, Katie Slay, and Paulina Prieto Cerame were all named to the Penn State Invitational All-Tournament for their play on Saturday. The team will next travel to Austin, Texas to face defending national champion Texas and No. 9 Florida in the Nike Volleyball Big Four Tournament.