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Washington, Hancock To Compete For Gold With USA Volleyball

Following an already-dominant Olympic tournament, two Penn State women’s volleyball legends are one match away from a gold medal.

Setter Micha Hancock and middle blocker Haleigh Washington will get a day of rest before vying for the ultimate prize alongside the U.S. team. They’ll face the winner of Korea (5-2) and Brazil (7-0) at 12:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, August 8.

The U.S. landed in the gold medal match following an overwhelming sweep over Serbia (25-19 25-15, 25-23). In the match, Washington racked up five kills, a block, and an ace in the win. Hancock, who’d previously started at setter, did not start or record any stats in the match.

On Wednesday, the U.S. notched a pivotal win over the Dominican Republic. In it, Hancock started and posted 37 assists with six digs, an ace, a block, and a kill. Washington dished out seven kills, five digs, two blocks, and an ace.

All tournament long, the two former Penn State stars have shown off dynamic chemistry. It’s likely no coincidence since they recently served as teammates with Igor Novara Volley overseas in Italy.

With a win, Washington and Hancock could add to Penn State’s already-expansive Olympic medal total this year. Nittany Lion wrestling legend David Taylor took gold in the men’s 86 kg tournament Wednesday. Shot put star Joe Kovacs notched his second career silver medal, while women’s soccer alumna Alyssa Naeher received a bronze alongside current Penn State coach Erica Dambach.

Hancock played for Penn State from 2011 to 2014 and still holds the Nittany Lions’ all-time service ace record with 254 over her career. She won back-to-back national titles with the Nittany Lions in 2013 and 2014.

Washington’s tenure in Happy Valley stretched from 2014 to 2017, when she earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was also a three-time All-American and won a national title as a freshman in 2014.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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