Penn State women’s volleyball signee Anjelina Starck led Rampart High School to its first Colorado 5A state championship in program history Thursday night.
Starck finished with a match-high 26 kills in the Rams’ 3-1 win (25-17, 22-25, 25-13, 25-23) over Grandview High School at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. The senior outside hitter took home the title alongside her younger sister, Izzy, a freshman setter.
“It meant so much,” Anjelina told the Denver Post. “This is what I’ve wanted to do ever since I stepped on the court with (Izzy) when I was 12…This is the one chance that I had to play with her and win.”
Starck will join the Nittany Lions later this offseason as part of the program’s 2021 recruiting class, which also features Rachel Muisenga, Erika Williams, Cassie Kuerschen, and Quinn Menger. Starck and Muisenga were named Under Armour All-Americans last November, but were unable to participate in the annual showcase match due to COVID-19.
Starck was quite busy this spring balancing her final high school volleyball season (a 13-1 campaign) and club obligations with the Colorado Juniors, where U.S. women’s national team middle blocker Haleigh Washington also played before arriving at Penn State. Like Washington, Starck was named Colorado’s Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Starck, a 6-foot-2 hitter who has the skill set to be a six-rotation player for Penn State at some point, spent her first two seasons at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, helping the Gaels win a Nevada 4A state championship as a sophomore before transferring to Rampart prior to her junior year.
Despite Lauren Clark’s transfer from Penn State to Florida Gulf Coast earlier this week, Starck will still encounter plenty of competition for playing time at the hitting positions when she arrives on campus this summer. The Nittany Lions return Jonni Parker, AC Fitzpatrick, Anastasiya Kudryashova, and Macy Van Den Elzen from last season’s roster, then added Adanna Rollins of Minnesota and Erika Pritchard of Maryland via transfer in late April.
Starck verbally committed to the Nittany Lions in January 2019 as a sophomore in high school before eventually signing with the program last November. During an interview with DigNittanyVolleyball in April 2020, Starck highlighted her ball control and blocking as two of her biggest strengths as a player. She also mentioned Penn State’s career digs leader as one of her inspirations.
“I have admired Kendall White,” Starck said. “Over the past few years, I loved watching Kendall play. She motivates me to play defense like her…I need to get stronger and continue working on all aspects of my game so that Coach Rose can use me in whatever position that he thinks most helps the team.”