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:
Katie Kabbes - Rising: After starting the season as a
starter, Kabbes fell out of favor with coach Russ Rose. However, on Saturday
against No. 10 Minnesota, Kabbes was called on by her coach to provide an
experienced blocking force at the net. Kabbes responded well to the call-up and
she had three block assists as well as five kills on eight attacks in the
Nittany Lions sweep of the Golden Gophers. It remains to be seen if Kabbes will
see further action in the matches to come — such as tonight's home match with
Northwestern at 8 p.m. — but she was a key factor on Saturday.
Nia Grant - Rising: The freshman Grant also stepped
up defensively in the team's blocking effort. She had six block assists, and
— more surprisingly — saw some time in the back row with four digs,
something both her and sophomore Deja McClendon commented on in practice
Tuesday. Grant had one kill on five attacks and no errors as well. If she can
continue to play well defensively and limit her errors, Grant will likely earn
even more time in the lineup.
Maddie Martin - Rising: Martin, an outside hitter,
played exclusively in the back row on Saturday and tallied a career-high 10
digs. Martin demonstrated her versatility and usefulness as a role player for
the team, and she'll surely continue to play if she can continue to play well
wherever Rose puts her.
Ali Longo - Flat: Longo had a solid weekend, neither
playing especially well nor playing poorly. The sophomore libero followed up an
11 dig performance against Wisconsin with a four dig showing against Minnesota.
Despite the decline, Longo didn't hurt her stock, as she played most of the
balls she touched well. There is likely still an ongoing competition for the
libero spot, but the opposite-color jersey is Longo's to lose still.
Aiyana Whitney - Falling: Freshman hitter Whitney
took a hit in her playing time against Minnesota, after hitting .000 (three
kills and three errors) on 16 attacks. While Whitney played just about as well
as possible the next night against Minnesota, with two kills on four attacks,
she clearly lost some stock after the Wisconsin match. However, Whitney is
young and inexperienced, and has plenty of time to play her way back into
contention for more playing time.