Jocelyn Nathan, a 5-foot-6 libero/defensive specialist from Wilmington, Delaware, became the second member of Penn State women’s volleyball’s 2023 recruiting class when she verbally committed to the Nittany Lions Friday afternoon.
“I’m so excited to announce my verbal commitment to play D1 volleyball at Penn State University,” Nathan wrote on Instagram. “A big thank you to all of my friends, family, and coaches who have helped me become the player and person I am today.”
Nathan, who attends Wilmington Friends School and plays her club volleyball for East Coast Power KOP, joined pin hitter Karis Willow of Findlay, Ohio, in Penn State’s 2023 class. Nathan also plays soccer for her high school team, showcasing her versatility as an athlete.
Nathan was a first-team all-state selection as a junior last fall after landing on the second team the year prior. Nathan’s commitment follows the verbal of 2024 libero Ava Falduto of Elmhurst, Illinois, to the Nittany Lions on June 19.
Lafayette, Indiana, outside hitter Chloe Chicoine was previously committed to the Nittany Lions’ 2023 class, but the USA volleyball youth national team standout eventually reopened her recruitment before picking her hometown Purdue Boilermakers.
The Nittany Lions currently feature five defensive specialists on their 2022 roster, all of whom have at least three seasons of eligibility remaining. Junior Maddy Bilinovic, who’s battling for the vacant starting libero job, received a bonus season because she played during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, which took place in spring of 2021.
Cassie Kuerschen, Quinn Menger, Gillian Grimes, and Mandi Morioka are Penn State’s other defensive specialists who are competing for playing time this season. Nathan’s addition to the program next summer will provide another back-court player who will push the defensive specialists in front of her on the depth chart.
Nathan will follow in the footsteps of her older sisters, Alyssa and Danielle, in playing college volleyball. Alyssa was a setter at Swarthmore College, while Danielle is a senior outside hitter for James Madison University. Jocelyn will soon begin her senior season with the Quakers, who finished the 2021 season with a 15-3 record.
Nathan, who has participated in Under Armour Next camp series events, surpassed 1,000 career digs at the high school level during her junior season. The Nittany Lions haven’t had a player from Delaware on their roster in quite some time, but assistant coach Brian Toron graduated from the University of Delaware.
Perhaps Nathan’s commitment will catch the attention of other prospects from her area who hadn’t previously considered Penn State, which always recruits nationally. Katie Schumacher-Cawley and her staff have done an excellent job adding talent over the past few months since she took the job in January.