BLOG: Scott Leads Nittany Lions in More Than One Way
Oct. 25, 2013
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Six years later, the senior has proven how much she has learned under head coach Russ Rose after being recognized as first team All-American last year. In August, she was nominated as a candidate for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award based on her involvement with community outreach, her performances in the classroom and during competition.
"She's a hard-working individual who cares. She's a big, strong athlete that at times is the most dominant player on the floor," Rose said. "The expectations of her teammates offer her to play at a high level. The team can't play at its highest level without her playing at a high level."
Scott's leadership role is one of the aspects that the Nittany Lions rely on to be able to perform as one unit. Working her way into her senior year, the New Jersey native knows she is expected to help guide her teammates.
"The younger girls look up to the seniors," Scott said. "You're expected to be more of a leader, but it's pretty much the same girls and the same coaching style so it hasn't been too hard to adjust. Your senior year is always bittersweet. You want to go out with a bang, but you also don't want the season to end."
With three years of experience and 19 matches this season already behind her, Scott has set an example of how to handle the pressures of competing in one of the most competitive volleyball conferences.
"You slowly get used to the pressure from your freshman year," Scott said. "Every game is going to be a great game. You know every team is going to come out wanting to win and wanting to beat you. It's kind of a good pressure because you know you have to play your best, but at the same time you know you can do it."
Although Scott may not be the most vocal player on the court, her ability to lead by example sets her up to guide the underclassmen in a unique way. Scott's leadership has motivated her teammates, including sophomore Megan Courtney.
"She is definitely a leader by how she plays," Courtney said. "Her stats are incredible and she's a great player to play with. It's awesome to be able to play with someone that has that much talent. Seeing her play at the highest level she possibly can is great for me because I can strive to play even better to help her in any way."
Scott has led the team in kills in eight matches and has reached double digits in nine matches. Against Ohio State on Wednesday, Scott had nine kills and five blocks, adding to her impressive stats while leading the team with 178 kills.
Knowing she has reached this high level of play, Scott doesn't put too much thought into whether or not she's leading the team in kills. Instead she focuses on what the team needs from her.
"I try not to think about it," Scott said. "One of my bigger roles is scoring, but if someone else leads the team in number of kills that's awesome - we just try to mix it up."
During Scott's freshman year, she was a part of the 2010 national championship team and remembers that feeling of winning a match at that level. Keeping that in the back of her mind helps motivate the right side hitter, who started playing volleyball in ninth grade.
"Everyday we come in to work towards winning a national championship," Scott said. "I got to experience that my freshman year and want to go out on that note."
Contributing to the strong history that Penn State volleyball has, Scott sees the most rewarding aspect of being a part of this program is the long tradition of excellence that Rose has worked to not only establish, but also maintain throughout the 35 seasons he's led the Nittany Lions.
"Our coach has been here and basically built this program," Scott said. "He has so many alumni that honor what he has done. It's a great feeling to be a part of for the past four years."
After defeating Ohio State on Wednesday night and looking ahead to playing Iowa on Saturday, Scott knows how important it will be to continue building off of the momentum they have created for themselves.
"We have to close out playing the Big Ten," Scott said. "We have to finish strong. If you want to win the Big Ten championship and going into the NCAA championship, you have to finish strong to be able to get a good seed for the team."