Four Nittany Lions named Volleyball Magazine All-Americans
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four members of the Penn State women’s volleyball team were named 2012 Volleyball Magazine All-Americans. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) and junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) were selected to the First Team, while juniors Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) earned spots on the Second Team.
Scott was honored as an AVCA First Team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year and was also an All-Big Ten selection. She ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten in kills per set (3.75) and points per set (4.23). She led the team in kills with 469 and had a .308 hitting percentage. The AVCA Mideast Region honoree was third on the team in blocks with 102 (0.82 blocks per set) and has also contributed 105 digs. She eclipsed the 1,000 career kills milestone and finished the 2012 season with 1,030. She led the team in kills 22 times in 2012 and had 24 double-digit kill matches. In addition, she had 30 multiple-block matches. A Big Ten Player of the Week (Nov. 5), she started all 36 matches at opposite.
Hancock was an AVCA First Team All-American and earned a spot on the 2012 AVCA Mideast Region squad. The inaugural Big Ten Setter of the Year, Hancock was second in the Big Ten with 11.22 assists per set and guided the Nittany Lion offense to a .302 hitting percentage for the season. Penn State’s hitting percentage led the conference and ranked third nationally. Hancock finished the season third in the country and led the Big Ten with 0.65 aces per set. She owns the Penn State single season record for aces (91), which she set in 2011, and had a team-best 81 in 2012. Hancock also owns the Penn State single-match record for aces with 10 against Binghamton on Nov. 30. She broke the NCAA Tournament record for aces and finished tournament play 22. An All-Big Ten honoree, Hancock started all 36 matches at setter and was a six-time Big Ten Setter of the Week. She was third on the team in digs with 298 and fifth in blocks with 76.
Slay, a 6-6 middle hitter, was an All-Big Ten and AVCA Second Team All-America selection in 2012. She garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades three times last season. She led the Nittany Lions with a .412 hitting percentage, which ranked second in the Big Ten and seventh in the nation. Slay had a team-high 164 blocks, averaging 1.34 blocks per set. Her 1.34 blocks per set led the league and ranked 27th nationally. Slay was the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a 2012 Preseason All-Big Ten honoree. She led the team in blocks 22 times and her 420 career blocks ranks 14th all-time at Penn State. Slay was third on the team in kills with 279, averaging 2.29 kills per set, and hit .320 or better in 27 of 35 matches played.
McClendon was a 2012 AVCA Third Team All-American and All-Big Ten honoree. She surpassed the 1,000 career kills mark this season and currently has 1,253. McClendon started all 36 matches in 2012 and was on the team in kills with 403, averaging 3.25 kills per set. She was also second on the team in digs with 339 (2.79 digs per set) and contributed 70 blocks (0.56 blocks per set). McClendon led the team in kills 11 times and digs eight times this season, and recorded 12 double-doubles.
The Penn State women’s volleyball team advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals for the fifth time in the last six seasons and for the 10th time in program history. The Nittany Lions suffered a 3-1 loss to Oregon to conclude their season. Penn State has won five national titles, including 1999 and fourth straight between 2007 and 2010.
For more information on the Penn State women’s volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com.