PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Penn State Volleyball Adding Variety To Its Service Game

Penn State women’s volleyball has never had a server quite like Micha Hancock. Now three seasons removed from leading the Nittany Lions to their seventh national championship, she’s playing professionally in Italy and representing the U.S. in international competition.

Hancock’s lethal jump serve helped her amass an astounding 126 service aces as a senior in 2014, ensuring she took home AVCA National Player of the Year honors. Since her graduation, Russ Rose has sought production at the service line from a range of youngsters and veterans alike.

So far, Penn State has allowed the second-fewest service aces in the Big Ten this season, trailing only Nebraska — the lone program to beat the Nittany Lions. It’s also taking a step forward in terms of generating significant offense off the serve like Northwestern.

Junior Keeton Holcomb prefers to stay grounded.

“Everybody needs to have good service pressure because every team has hitters who can really cause you a lot of problems,” Rose said. “We need to serve tough because we’re not a great blocking team.”

Sophomore libero Kendall White has been Penn State’s most consistent performer at the line, but she said setters Abby Detering and Bryanna Weiskircher are the best overall servers on the roster. Senior defensive specialist Lainy Pierce’s ball is deceptively tricky to deal with as well, plus she’s yet to surrender an error.

“I think the most underrated server is actually Lainy, because it looks like a little bit of a lollipop, but it’ll get you — it just drops on you hard and not many people can pass it well,” White said.

Simone Lee’s incorporation of a heat-seeking topspin serve is one of the more exciting developments of the past few matches. Detering even called it “wicked.”

Lee doesn’t mind going airborne when the situation calls for it.

“My concern is we’re asking so much of Simone as a hitter, passer, and blocker,” Rose said. “There are times in the match when I might ask her to go for it and other times when she has a good serve standing on the ground.”

Senior middle blocker Heidi Thelen emphasized how important serving is to the bigger picture, in particular how it can prevent the opposing team from finding a rhythm offensively.

“When [our back row] is serving tough and getting aces, that helps us a lot because it allows the blockers to get in the right spot and they can’t run whenever they want,” Thelen said.

Weiskircher has made an impact all over the floor this year.

White has taken notice of Weiskircher’s increased leadership role in the locker room, saying the redshirt junior’s not afraid to offer up constructive criticism when necessary. The Rockford, IL, native played club volleyball with Lee and Ali Frantti, so her supreme comfort level with them on the court comes as no surprise.

“I love the way she runs things behind the scenes,” White said of Weiskircher. “She’s never one of those people who wants to show it for the crowd. She never wants to yell too loud in front of everybody. It’s always about the team and it’s not about the show.”

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]

Comments

More by Ethan

Three Recruits High On Penn State’s Wish List

Penn State’s 2019 recruiting class will likely only feature 18-20 prospects, but it would love to see these three join the fold.

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Beaver Stadium Turf Gets Fourth Of July Makeover

Athletics

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend