Four Women Volleyball Players Named All-American
A day before their national semifinal match against top-ranked Stanford Thursday, four Penn State women’s volleyball players earned all-America honors.
Seniors Micha Hancock and Nia Grant were named first-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, while junior Aiyana Whitney and freshman Ali Frantti garnered second-team honors. Frantti was also named the AVCA Division One National Freshman of the Year.
The women’s volleyball program now has 83 All-American since 1979, and this is the third year in a row that at least four Nittany Lions have been recognized. Head coach Russ Rose has landed a player on the All-American list in 35 of his 36 seasons at Penn State, and Frantti is his fourth player to be named national freshman of the year.
Hancock, a serving ace, collected her third straight first-team All-America honor. The senior led the NCAA with 1.03 aces per set, and her 378 career aces lead the Big Ten’s all-time list. She was named National Player of the Week on Sept. 30.
Grant earned national honorable mention last season. For the majority of the year, she led the nation in hitting percentage at .442, which now leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the country. She averages 1.11 blocks per game, good for second best on the team.
Whitney started every match during Penn State’s trek through the regular season. The junior is hitting at a .364 clip, the third best in the Big Ten. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 17 after the Lions took down Iowa and Minnesota, both in straight sets. Whitney tallied 16 and 17 kills in each respective match, match-high 16 and 17 kills in those matches.
Finally, Frantti was recently named AVCA All-Northeast Region Freshman of the Year, and was an All-Freshman selection for the Big Ten. Frantti recorded 22 kills and 11 digs against Stanford, volleyball’s equivalent of a double-double. She led Penn State in kills in 15 matches this year.