This is the fourth installment in our seven-part series that looks at how PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces have done over the years, using the rankings for Penn State’s incoming 2018 class as the focal point. PrepVolleyball.com’s annual Senior Ace list ranks the top 100 seniors (according to a poll of numerous college and club coaches) for that year.
Here’s a listing of Penn State’s seven 2018 Senior Aces:
- #3 — Kaitlyn Hord, 6-5 MB, Henry Clay HS, (Lexington, Kentucky);
- #5 — Serena Gray, 6-2 MB (Temple City, California);
- #14 – Jonni Parker, 6-0 S/OH, Miami East HS (Casstown, Ohio);
- #28 – Gabby Blossom, 5-10 S, St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Louis, Missouri);
- #31 – Jenna Hampton, 5-7 libero, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Florida);
- #56 – Amanda Phegley, 6-4 MB, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Florida); and
- #71 – Allyson Cathey, 6-1 OH, New Albany (Indiana).
For this fourth installment, we’re looking at the #28-ranked Senior Aces from 2007 through 2016 (Gabby Blossom, the incoming freshman setter for Penn State, was ranked #28 in 2018).
Players Who Were Ranked #28 Senior Ace
2007: Dicey McGraw, 5-11 OH, UCLA
- As a senior (2010) Dicey was named to the All-Pac-10 Women’s Volleyball Team. For the season, she totaled 446 kills (3.91 kills/set), 1.32 digs/set, and .39 blocks/set.
- In 2009, Dicey was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference honorable mention team after leading the Bruins in kills/set (3.11) and points/set (3.53), and finishing 5th on the team with 1.88 digs/set and 0.56 blocks/set.
- Dicey played in all 33 matches in 2008, with 21 starts, and appeared in 119 out of 122 sets. She was second on the team in kills per set at 2.86.
- In her freshman season (2007), Dicey appeared in 32 matches (9 starts) and 86 games, earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honors. She was fourth on the team with 2.57 kills per game.
2008: Elle Ohlander, 6-6 MB, Wisconsin
- Elle Ohlander saw the most action in her freshman season (2008), starting 28 of the 31 matches and ranking second on the team in hitting percentage (.248) blocks (.91/set). She was named to the 2008 Big Ten All-Freshman team.
- In each of the three subsequent seasons, Elle saw her playing time decrease.
- In 2009, she played in 27 matches (starting 22), and 89 sets, averaging 1.76 kills/set and 0.62 blocks/set.
- In 2010, Elle played in 37 sets, with 48 kills and 17 total blocks.
- In her senior season (2011), she played in 33 sets, with 26 kills and 25 total blocks.
2009: Anna Drewry, 6-3 MB, Purdue
- As a senior (2012), Anna saw action in 33 matches, starting 32. She averaged a team-leading 1.02 blocks/set (10th in the B1G), with 1.63 kills/set (.278 hitting %).
- She saw limited action in 2011, playing in 15 matches (15 starts), averaging 1.23 kills/set and 0.90 blocks/set.
- As a sophomore, Anna played in 29 matches (14 starts), averaging 2.23 kills/set (#3 on the team), and 0.67 blocks/set (#5 on the team).
- In her freshman season, Anna was a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree, playing in 30 matches (21 starts).
2010: Kristina Graven, 6-0 OH, Cal Poly/St. Mary’s
- As a freshman at Cal Poly (2010) Kristina was named AVCA West Region and Big West Conference Freshman of the Year after leading the Mustangs with 3.85 kills/set and added 2.92 digs/set. She hit .264 for the season, with 62 total blocks.
- In her sophomore season at Cal Poly, Kristina played in 109 sets (starting all 29 matches), totaling 371 kills (#2 on the team), averaging 3.40 kills/set (.255 hitting %), and tallying 252 digs.
- Kristina transferred to St. Mary’s for her Junior year (2012), where she was named All West Coast Conference First Team after leading the Gaels with 3.44 kills/set and 3.28 digs/set.
- As an encore, in her senior season (2013), Kristina earned her second straight All-West Coast Conference First Team award and was named an AVCA All-America honorable mention. She finished second on the team in kills (364) and kills/set (3.57), was second on the team with 2.57 digs/set.
2011: Caylin Mahoney, 6-0 S, Cincinnati/Texas State
- In her senior season (2014), Caylin was limited by injury to 35 sets, hitting .262 for the season, with 1.31 kills/set.
- Caylin enjoyed her greatest success in her junior season (2013) at Texas State, where she was named the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament Most Outstanding Player, led the team in assists with 1,256 in 140 sets, hit .334 with 166 kills, totaled 371 digs and 51 total blocks. Caylin was named the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Setter of the Year, but played only 35 sets as a senior.
- Caylin transferred to Texas State in 2012 for her sophomore season, playing in 80 sets.
- In her freshman season (2011) at Cincinnati, Caylin finished second in the conference with an average of 11.04 assists per set and was named to the All-Big East Second Team after earning three Big East Freshman of the Week honors during the course of the season.
2012: Emily Sklar, 6-3 OH, Duke
In her senior year (2015), Emily led the team with 353 kills, averaging 3.84 kills/set, totaled 283 digs, and earned honorable mention AVCA All-America and All-ACC 1st team honors (one of four players who were unanimous selections to the All-ACC 1st team). For her career, she totaled 1,496 kills, 89 service aces, 1,005 digs and 153 blocks. In her junior year (2014), Emily received AVCA All-America honorable mention and her second consecutive first team All-ACC honor. She led the team in kills( 436), kills per set (4.27) and service aces (29), and ranked second on the team with 282 digs. In 2013, her sophomore season, Emily led the team with 405 kills, 3.89 kills/set (second in the ACC), 222 digs, 24 aces and 43.0 blocks. Her performance earned Emily the ACC Player of the Year award, AVCA All-America honorable mention and 1st-team All-ACC honors. As a Freshman, Emily was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, ranked second on the team with 319 kills, and averaged 2.93 kills/set to lead the team.
2013: Merete Lutz, 6-8 MB, Stanford
- Three-time AVCA All-America second team (2014, 2015 & 2017)
- AVCA All-America third team (2016)
- Four-time All-Pac-12 Conference (2014-17)
- All-Pac-12 Freshman Team (2014)
You might say, Merete Lutz had a pretty darn good, way-to-go career at Stanford, yes?
2014: Reily Buechler, 6-1 OH, UCLA
Buechler, who was named VolleyballMag.com All-American Third Team, AVCA Pacific South All-Region Honorable Mention and All-Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention (third year in a row), led the team with 3.34 kills and 3.78 points per set … was eighth among Pac-12 players in kps … ranked tied for second with 21 service aces and was third with 2.37 digs per set, adding 0.42 blocks per set. 2015 Was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention for the second straight season … ranked second on the team with 3.39 kills and 3.74 points per set, adding 1.84 digs per set and 16 service aces. 2014 Was named to the All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Freshman Teams … played in all 34 matches and was second on the team with 2.92 kills and 3.18 points per set, adding 0.88 digs and 0.40 blocks per set.
2015: Baylee Johnson, 6-0 S/OH, USC
Baylee enrolled early at USC in 2015 and, as part of a 6-2 offense, played in all of USC’s 130 sets. Playing 6-rotations, she totaled 936 assists, 110 kills and 67 blocks (four solo). Prior to the 2016 season, then-USC coach Mick Haley issued a statement that Johnson was academically ineligible and was no longer on the team. Although West Virginia coach Reed Sunahara released a statement that Baylee was transferring to West Virginia for the 2017 season, she did not play for the Mountaineers.
2016: Rachael Kramer, 6-8 MB, Florida
Rachael’s sophomore season in 2017 saw her play in all 32 matches, hitting .402, with 308 kills, 2.66 kills/set, and 1.03 blocks/set. She was named to the All-SEC team. As a true freshman in 2016, Rachael led the Gators and the SEC with a .537 hitting percentage (176 kills, 24 errors on 283 total attacks). She ranked second on the team with 81 total blocks and 0.92 blocks per set. For her efforts, she was named to the 2016 SEC All-Freshman team.
- Confetti – Michigan State at Penn State, 12-9-17 (Photo by Steve Manuel).