The first match for the 2015 Penn State Women’s Volleyball team isn’t until late August (this isn’t a tease — there is no official schedule yet), but at the post-season banquet for the 2014 Penn State Women’s Volleyball team, Head Coach Russ Rose announced the three team captains for 2015: 6-2 Sr. OH Megan Courtney, 5-6 Sr. libero/DS Kendall Pierce, and 6-4 Sr. RS/Opp. Aiyana Whitney. Below are some statistics and videos for each of them.
The 2015 Penn State Women’s Volleyball Team Captains
#17 Megan Courtney, 6-2 S/OH, Jr., Dayton, Ohio
The Buzz on Megan: Outstanding athlete with a terrific volleyball IQ, started the 2014 season at Opp/RS, moving to OH when Haleigh Washington returned from her pre-season injury. Named Most Outstanding Player for the NCAA Tournament.
Megan Courtney's Career Attack Stats
Megan Courtney's Career Blocking Stats
Megan Courtney's Career Recept/Dig Stats
2014 (Junior): Had an amazing run during the NCAA Tournament, which culminated with her being named the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. Here’s how she did in the Final Four matches:
- totaled 11 kills (.269 attack %), 14 digs, 2 solo blocks, and 3 block assists in Penn State’s 3-0 win over BYU in the NCAA Finals.
- registered a career high 23 kills (.321 attack %), 1 ace, 16 digs, and 5 block assists in Penn State’s 3-1 win over Stanford in the NCAA Semi-Finals.
2013 (Sophomore): Courtney came up big in some very big matches in 2013:
- posting a career-high 17 kills in the 3-1 comeback win at #17 Michigan on November 1st, to go with nine digs and seven blocks;
- registering 15 kills (.400 attack %) and 11 digs as the Nittany Lions swept then-#14 Wisconsin on 11/1/13;
- totaling 14 kills (.312 attack %), 12 digs) and four blocks in Penn State’s 3-1 win over No. 10 Nebraska on 11/30/13;
- posting a team-high 17 kills (with an eye-popping .556 attack %) in Penn State’s 3-0 win over Utah in its 2nd-round NCAA Tournament match on 12/7/13;
- totaling 10 kills and 14 digs in the NCAA Regional Semifinal match against MSU on 12/13/13;
- contributing 9 kills, 14 digs, and two key solo blocks in Penn State’s fifth-set comeback victory in the NCAA Regional Finals against No. 7 Stanford on 12/14/13;
- putting down six kills (with a .545 attack% — which on this night, was only 4th best on the team), nine digs and two blocks in the 3-0 sweep of #3 Washington in the NCAA national semifinal match on 12/19/13; and
- leading the team with five blocks, tied for the team lead with 20 digs, and added five kills in the Nittany Lions’ 3-1 win over No. 12 Wisconsin in the NCAA Finals on 12/21/13.
2012 (Freshman): In 2012, Megan Courtney was named AVCA Mideast Region Freshman of the Year; was a unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She started 35 out of 36 matches at outside hitter, ending the season fourth on the team in kills (240 — an average of 2.00 kills per set), digs (237 — an average of 1.98 digs per set), and blocks (101 — an average of 0.84 blocks per set, including at least one block in 33 matches, and 27 matches with multiple blocks).
High School: In 2011, Courtney capped-off an exceptional high school career by garnering 2011-12 First Team AVCA Under Armour All-American honors and being named the #4 high school player in the country by PrepVolleyball.com. For the season, she registered 451 kills (.603 attack %), 426 assists, 316 digs, 52 blocks and 36 service aces. On December 14th, she was named the 2011 Gatorade Ohio Volleyball Player of the Year.
Megan Courtney: Then and Now
#3 Kendall Pierce, 5-6 DS, Jr., Eden, NY
The Buzz on Kendall: More than doubled her digs/set from 2013 (0.59 compared to 0.25),and will be looking to improve on that showing in 2015 as she competes for the starting libero position. Good teammate with a good volleyball IQ.
Kendall Pierce's Career Recept/Dig Stats
Kendall Pierce's Career Serving Stats
- Was a point-scoring machine (for a defensive specialist) against then-#16 Minnesota on September 27th, registering a kill and an ace
- totaled two digs versus then-#14 Purdue (10/17), Indiana (10/18) and Northwestern (11/26)
- Played in all six NCAA Tournament matches, totaling 3 aces and 15 digs in 20 sets.
2013 (Sophomore): Among the highlights of Kendall’s Sophomore season were:
- Notching a dig in Penn State’s tough 2-3 loss to #6 Texas in the Nike Big Four Tournament on September 7th;
- Recording a service ace, as the Nittany Lions bounced back with a 3-0 win against #8 Florida in the Nike Big Four Tournament on September 8th;
- Recording three digs in the 3-0 win over Yale on September 21st;
- Posting two digs in the 2-3 loss to #15 Michigan State on September 27th;
- Notching a service ace and a dig in the 3-2 win over #11 Minnesota on October 9th;
- Recording an ace and two digs in a tough 3-0 win over #14 Wisconsin on November 15th.
- Posting three digs in Penn State’s B1G title-clinching sweep of Ohio State on November 27th;
- Totaling three digs in the 3-0 win over LIU Brooklyn on December 6th in Penn State’s NCAA Tournament opener;
- Recording a dig in Penn State’s 3-0 win over Utah on December 7th, as the Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16;
- Appearing in the fifth-set comeback win over #7 Stanford in the NCAA Regional Finals on December 14th; and
- Playing in three sets in Penn State’s hard-fought 3-1 victory over #12 Wisconsin in the NCAA Finals on December 21st.
2012 (Freshman): Played 18 matches (29 sets) as a serving and defensive specialist; recorded nine aces and seven digs, with two aces vs. Illinois (11/8) and two aces against Bowling Green (12/1).
High School: Won three letters and was a two-year team captain at Eden Junior-Senior High School in Eden, N.Y.; led her team to the State Championship three times; two-time All-WNY First Team honoree; MVP at State Championship in 2011; President of the National Honor Society and the Student Council.
Here’s Kendall’s “Meet the Freshmen” video from 2012:
#14 Aiyana Whitney, 6-4 OH, RS Jr., Norwood, NJ
The Buzz on Aiyana: A very physical, and versatile player, who played all three front row positions for the Nittany Lions in 2014 before finally settling into the Opp/RS spot, where she excelled and was named Second Team AVCA All-American. She brought an intriguing combination of size and athleticism to a position of need for the Nittany Lions in 2014.
Aiyana Whitney's Career Attack Stats
Aiyana Whitney's Career Blocking Stats
- Named Second-Team AVCA All American
- Named All Big Ten Honorable Mention
- Played in every match in 2014
- Ranked 6th in the B1G with a .353 attack %
- Ranked 13th in the B1G with 3.36 points/set
- Totaled 8 kills and a team-high 6 blocks versus then-#5 Wisconsin in Madison on 9/24
2013 (Sophomore): Whitney started three matches in 2013, and played in a total of 21. High points included:
- a six-kill performance in the 3-0 win over Syracuse on August 31st (.455 attack %), with three digs and two block assists;
- three kills and one dig in the hard-fought 3-0 win over then-#19 Wisconsin on October 12th; and
- two kills in Penn State’s fifth-set comeback victory in the NCAA Regional Finals against No. 7 Stanford on December 14th.
2012 (Redshirt Season): Redshirt season
2011 (Freshman): Whitney had some good performances in 2011 — 15 kills vs. Texas (9/10), nine kills on .353 hitting against Nebraska (9/21), nine kills and three blocks at Minnesota (11/4), 12 kills with only one error in 24 swings (.458 attack percentage) against UCLA in the Sweet 16. For the season, in which she played in 24 matches and 64 sets at outside hitter, she totaled 113 kills (.194 attack percentage), 14 digs and 25 blocks.
High School: Whitney was a 2010 Top-20 Prep Volleyball Senior Ace and a 2010 Under Armour/AVCA First Team All-American. She led Old Tappan to 25 straight wins over New Jersey opponents that season, which was capped off by Old Tappan’s first-ever state championship when it won the finals of the Tournament of Champions. 2011 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year.
Here’s Aiyana Whitney’s “Meet the Freshmen” video from 2012: