Every Wednesday we'll take a look at whose stock on the Penn State women's volleyball team is rising, falling, or flat. Here goes:
Ariel Scott - Rising: Scott has continued to play well and garners a large number of attacks. The sophomore had 94 attacks over the last two matches, and hit .360 against No. 10 Nebraska and .318 against Iowa. While coach Russ Rose said she's getting too many attacks for his liking, Scott has shown she has the ability to shoulder a large burden for the Nittany Lions.
Katie Slay and Nia Grant - Falling: Both of these middle hitters have been on cold streaks over the past few matches. Slay hit a solid .267 against No. 10 Nebraska before shockingly hitting negative against Iowa. That performance certainly won't boost Slay's stock, but at this point it appears to be an aberration. Grant, on the other hand, hit negative in both matches without registering a single kill. She said she's determined to work harder in practice, and it seems like she needs to in order to improve.
Ali Longo - Rising: Longo was one of the bright spots for the Lions during the two Big Ten matches, which the team split. The sophomore tightened her hold on her spot at libero by matching her career best in digs with 16 at Nebraska before one-upping herself with 17 at Iowa. Longo has given Rose no reason to doubt her abilities at the position and continues to be the clear front-runner at libero.
Darcy Dorton - Rising: Against Iowa, the redshirt sophomore Dorton recorded more than 10 attacks in a match for the first time since the 2009 NCAA national championship game against Texas. Dorton hit .286 against the Hawkeyes, with five kills, in her first significant playing time since her ACL injury. Dorton may be making her way back to playing fitness and form. If that's the case, Dorton will be a huge boost for this team in search of leadership and energy on the court.
Aiyana Whitney - Flat: The freshman quietly had a good weekend, even showing well against No. 10 Nebraska. She had nine kills on 17 attacks for a .353 hitting percentage against the Cornhuskers, and followed that up with a solid .240 performance against the Hawkeyes. If Whitney can continue to hit well, she'll earn herself more playing time in the front row, likely at the expense of players like Nia Grant and Maddie Martin.