Nittany Lions Earn Seven Big Ten Postseason Honors
Dec. 3, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Six members of the No. Penn State women's volleyball team (28-2, 19-1) earned seven Big Ten postseason awards, as announced by the conference this morning. Junior Micha Hancock highlighted the group with her second consecutive Big Ten Setter of the Year award, while seniors Katie Slay, Ariel Scott and Deja McClendon joined her on the All-Big Ten team. Head coach Russ Rose earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
Slay, Scott and McClendon were all unanimous honorees on the All-Big Ten team, which is selected by coaches from around the league. Hancock was also an All-Big Ten selection, while senior Maggie Harding rounded out the group as Penn State's sportsmanship honoree.
Penn State led the conference with four All-Big Ten selections, while Minnesota and Nebraska tallied two apiece. The All-Big Ten team features a total of 14 student-athletes from nine different programs within the conference.
Hancock earned her third consecutive postseason honor after picking up the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award and the inaugural Big Ten Setter of the Year laurel in 2012. She's also earned a spot on either the All-Big Ten team or the Big Ten All-Freshman squad each year. The five-time Big Ten Setter of the Week in 2013 is the only recipient of the Big Ten's Setter of the Year award, having claimed the title in the last two consecutive years. Hancock has guided the Nittany Lion offense to a .312 hitting percentage in 2013, which ranks fourth in the nation and leads the Big Ten. She's paced two top attackers to .400 or better hitting on the year, dishing out 11.13 assists per set, which ranks 30th nationally and second in the Big Ten. Earlier this season, she set a new program record with her 237th career ace. Hancock leads the team with 67 aces on the year and her 0.64 aces per frame ranks second in the country and first in the league.
Slay also picked up her third consecutive postseason honor after being selected as the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the 2012 All-Big Ten team. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week also picked up one Big Ten Player of the Week accolade in 2013. She's amassed 222 kills on the year, posting a team-best .402 hitting percentage, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 24th nationally. Slay is at the helm of the Nittany Lion blocking unit with 171 total blocks on the year. Her 1.63 blocks per frame leads the conference and ranks third among all individuals in the nation. Earlier this season, Slay reached the 500 career blocks mark and has totaled 591 blocks in her career, which is good for sixth on the Penn State all-time list.
Scott garnered her third consecutive Big Ten postseason nod after earning the Big Ten Player of the Year honor in 2012 and a spot on the All-Big Ten team in 2011. A finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, Scott ranks second on the team with 298 kills on the year, averaging a squad-best 3.20 kills per frame. The 2012 AVCA First Team All-American posted double-digit kills in 16 matches this season, while leading the team in the categories 12 times throughout the season. Totaling 22 multi-block performances, she closed out the regular-season ranked second on the team in blocks, averaging 0.88 per set. In 2012 she reached the 1,000 career kills milestone. Since then, she's added 328 more kills for a career total of 1,328, which ranks 14th in program history.
McClendon recorded her fourth conference postseason award after being selected as the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and registering two consecutive All-Big Ten accolades from 2011-12. She's started all 30 matches at outside hitter this season and leads the team in kills with 305 on the year. McClendon also ranks second on the team in digs with 290 in 2013, averaging 2.79 per set. She's led the team in kills 11 times this season, while posting nine double-doubles. Earlier this year, she notched her 1,000th career dig to eclipse the 1,000 career kills/1,000 career digs mark. With 1,558 kills and 1,103 digs, she is the first Nittany Lion to reach the mark since Megan Hodge in 2009 and the fifth in program history. She recently hit the 1,500 career kills mark after tallying 11 kills at Minnesota. Her 1,558 career kills ranks seventh in the Penn State record book and 13th on the NCAA active all-time list.
Rose earned his 12th Big Ten Coach of the Year award and sixth in the last seven years. This year, Rose led the 2013 team to a 28-2 overall record, including a 19-1 mark in the Big Ten. He also guided the team to its 16th conference title in program history and 10th in the last 11 years. After earning win number 1,100 against Yale earlier this season, Rose moved into sole possession of second place on the NCAA DI wins list with victory number 1,107 at Northwestern. With the triumph, he passed former UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski, who previously owned the record. With 1,119 wins, Rose is presently eight wins shy of tying current Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji for first on the all-time list with 1,127.
The Nittany Lions earned the No. 2 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and will host the first and second rounds of the event Dec. 6-7. Penn State opens tournament play with a match against LIU Brooklyn Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall. Yale and Utah meet in the earlier match, which is slated for 5 p.m. The winners of both matches will play Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall.
All-session tickets for the 2013 NCAA Tournament first and second rounds at Penn State will go on sale Monday, Dec. 2nd at 10 a.m. All-session tickets are priced at $12 for adults and $10 for students and youth ages 12 and under. Groups of 20 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $8.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800 -NITTANY or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To view the complete list of Big Ten postseason awards, please click here.