The Penn State women's volleyball team comes home to Rec Hall this weekend for matches against Long Island, Rutgers and Florida Gulf Coast in the Hampton Inn Classic.
We'll take a look at the facts to see Penn State's overall record against each team. Then, we'll look at which team leads each statistical category. We'll also look at the player from among the teams that leads each category, as well as Penn State's leader. There will also be some fun facts at the bottom of the page.
Penn State vs. Long Island: 4-0 Penn State
Penn State vs. Rutgers: 24-9 Penn State. Penn State has won 15 straight against the Scarlet Knights.
Penn State vs. Florida Gulf Coast: 0-0. These teams have never met.
Penn State, with its No. 5 ranking, is the only ranked team in the Hampton Inn Classic. It doesn't get much simpler than this: Penn State will be expected to win — if not sweep — every match. These teams are lowest-caliber squads Penn State has faced all season.
Penn State: 4-3
Long Island: 3-7
Florida Gulf Coast: 3-6
Penn State has the best winning percentage with .571. None of the other three teams are above .500. This is more confirmation that Penn State will be the heavy favorite in each match.
Penn State unsurprisingly leads this category with 12.9 kills per set. Rutgers has the second most kills per set with 12.7. Deja McClendon is the most prolific killer on any of the teams, as Penn State's main offensive threat. Long Island's main target is Hanna Gibeau, who has 4.00 kills per set. The Scarlet Knights mainly rely on junior middle hitter Alex Jones, who has 3.97. Florida Gulf Coast employs a more balanced attack.
Overall leader: Deja McClendon, Penn State — 4.15
Penn State leader: Deja McClendon — 4.15
Penn State's .263 in this category dominates the opposition. Rutgers' percentage of .190 comes in a distant second. It's not a surprise to see that Penn State's talent laden squad has put up a much higher score than their its sub-.500 opposition. However, Rutgers star Alex Jones leads this category overall among players with at least 100 total attacks, followed immediately by Penn State's sophomore middle hitter Katie Slay.
Overall leader (At least 100 attacks): Alex Jones, Rutgers — .379
Penn State's leader (At least 100 attacks): Katie Slay — .378
Penn State leads this category with 11.85 assists per set, slightly ahead of both Rutgers (11.75) and Long Island (11.28), with Florida Gulf Coast lagging behind with 10.25. This statistic is a rough estimate of the quality of a team's setter. While it shouldn't be entirely trusted, it can be informative. Penn State's freshman setter Micha Hancock provides the majority of the Lions assists with 9.31 per set, while junior libero Kristin Carpenter occasionally chips in for a back-row set. Interestingly, Florida Gulf Coast seems to be splitting setting duties between two players, as Gigi Meter has 8.35 assists per set while Camil Dominguez has 6.46.
Overall leader: Stephanie Zielinski, Rutgers — 10.31
Penn State leader: Micha Hancock — 9.31
Rutgers leads in this category with a solid 15.22 digs per set. Penn State continues to struggle with back-row aggressiveness, and it shows in their 12.63 digs per set. However, Carpenter has upgraded her defensive presence, improving her stat line from 3.00 to 3.44. Florida Gulf Coast's Holly Youngquist actually has the most digs per set of any player in the Hampton Inn Classic, despite her team having the least digs per set overall with 11.31.
Overall leader: Karissa Cook, Stanford — 4.21
Penn State leader: Kristin Carpenter — 3.44
Penn State dominates the weekend with their 2.44 blocks per set statistic. Penn State's height and athleticism, coming from the recruiting advantage earned by the volleyball powerhouse Lions doubtless make the difference in this category. Rutgers is the runner-up with 1.87 blocks per set. Katie Slay has been the Lions leading blocker with 1.11 blocks per set, but Long Island's Jessica Rice has actually put up a better stat-line with 1.18.
Overall leader: Jessica Rice, Long Island — 1.18
Penn State leader: Katie Slay — 1.11
Penn State and Florida Gulf Coast are tied in this category, each with 1.78 service aces per set. The Lions tally is largely on the back of the freshman Hancock who has .85 aces per set. Hancock's serve has been a little inconsistent lately but she has the power and speed to open points well for the Lions. Florida Gulf Coast has a more balanced serve game with three players within .02 aces per set of .45. Kaitlin Holm leads with .47 aces per set.
Overall leader: Micha Hancock, Penn State — .85
Penn State leader: Micha Hancock — .85
- Penn State has three players on its roster from the state of New Jersey. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has none.
- Penn State — the losers of two straight matches — is the only team to enter the Hampton Inn Classic on a losing streak. Rutgers and Florida Gulf Coast are each on one game winning streaks and Long Island has won its last three matches.
- Freshman Micha Hancock is currently second in the nation in sevices aces per set. The Lions' setter averages .85 a set; Belmont's Jen Meyer is first in the country with .92.