Megan Courtney’s hands go up…and they stay there. Straight up.
When Courtney was tying the pink ribbon in her hair before the match against Northwestern on Saturday night, odds are that she was not expecting to out-block the Wildcats by herself.
But she did.
The true freshman registered 4.0 blocks for the No. 2 Nittany Lions (25-2, 15-1 Big Ten) in their 3-0 win over the Wildcats and helped the Lions inch that most closer to capturing a Big Ten title.
“I think I was just feeling it,” Courtney said. “When I drop, I just see the hitters drop, and I just drop with them. I try and make the best move I possibly can, and I tell the people behind me, so if I miss the block and don’t get it, then they know where the ball is going to go if it does go by me. I guess coach says it a lot that you can have the best block in the world. It’s just luck sometimes, so I guess today was just luck.”
Courtney finished the night with three solo stuffs and two block assists, giving her a plus-one advantage over the purple and black. Through two sets, the Wildcats had a goose egg in the block department, but came up with six block assists in the third frame to muster up 3.0 blocks for the match.
Despite not having her best offensive night with only six kills and a .143 hitting percentage, the Dayton, Ohio, native made up for it on the defensive end and recorded six digs to accompany her four rejections.
“I think when you’re not having a great hitting night, you got to find some way to make an impact,” Courtney said. “So if I wasn’t having a great hitting night, I found a way to make an impact with my blocking and defense. That’s the best I can do is just try and help the team in some way.”
Listed at 6-foot-2, Courtney leads the squad in solo blocks with 21 on the season, nearly a third of the team’s total in that category. It’s a number that sticks out considering 6-foot-6 teammate junior middle hitter Katie Slay leads the Big Ten in blocks per sets with 1.36, but not at solo stuffs.
The Lions, as a unit, lead the conference in blocks with 280.5 and average 2.95 per set. The players agree that coming up with a big rejection is a confidence booster and can really pump the team up.
“Getting a big block, no matter who it is, is definitely one of the most exciting things, especially a solo block,” junior right side Ariel Scott said.