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Abby Detering Sets Women’s Volleyball Up For Success

Junior setter Abby Detering took the reins of Penn State’s offense in a 3-0 showing for the Nittany Lions at the Syracuse Classic.

Detering dished out 108 assists in Upstate New York, highlighted by a career-high 41 against Hofstra in the opening match of the team’s doubleheader Saturday, effectively securing the starting job over incumbent Bryanna Weiskircher after the pair split time to start the season.

Detering, who hails from Mentor, Ohio, played in 36 matches over the course of her first two years at the University of Florida before transferring closer to home this offseason. She was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Lake Catholic High School, garnering 2013-14 Ohio Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year honors. The 6-foot Detering displayed deft touch this past weekend by spreading the ball around to a handful of Nittany Lion playmakers, especially junior outside hitter Simone Lee and redshirt freshman middle blocker Tori Gorrell.

Detering and her teammates are undoubtedly excited to make their return to Rec Hall this Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Rhode Island after being on the road for three weeks. “The crowd here is amazing,” Detering said, “but I think what really gets [me] is when someone gets an awesome kill, we just have a ton of energy. That’s the best part is the energy and celebrating when we get a point.”

No. 20 Penn State (5-3) rolled out of the blocks a bit slower than it hoped for this season, but Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions are gaining more and more confidence in their new setter every match. “Since I am new here, I haven’t had as much time as everyone else,” Detering said, “so making sure I have the connections, understanding each player — getting to know them on a personal level, so when we’re on that court, we know how to communicate with one another.”

Detering has made tremendous strides on the defensive end, as well, coming off back-to-back matches in which she recorded double-digit digs against Hofstra (10) and Syracuse (11). Each time No. 7 trots out onto the court, she carries a competitive fire with her that’s downright fun to watch. Now that the roaring celebrations after a point are becoming more frequent, you can see Detering and her teammates steadily build back their killer mentality that was shaken in three-straight losses to North Carolina, Colorado, and Stanford.

The Nittany Lions will lean on Detering during a trio of Penn State Invitational matches this weekend in their final tune-up before Big Ten play gets underway next week. After taking on Rhode Island this Friday, the blue and white have a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday against Howard at 10:00 a.m. and Clemson at 7:00 p.m. to round out non-conference play.

Winning Coach Rose’s starting setter role after arriving on campus this summer is no easy task, but Detering is proud of the hard work she puts in at practice each day to have this opportunity.

“When you’re younger, all you dream about is this school, and now having the opportunity to play with this team is amazing,” Detering said.

About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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