Women's Volleyball vs. Hofstra, Gray (16)

Serena Gray (16) goes up to hit during the season opener vs. Hofstra University on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 at Rec Hall. Penn State Nittany Lions swept Hofstra Pride 3 sets to none.

A part of the No. 1 recruiting class last year and setting a season record this past weekend against Wichita State racking up 18 kills, sophomore Serena Gray has been selected as the Collegian’s Athlete of the week. 

“On the court she is a really physically strong athlete and when she came in she had a really strong freshman year,” coach Russ Rose said. “Her absence in NCAA’s last year hurt us but so far this season she has played really well.” 

In Penn State’s first tournament this past weekend against Hofstra, Holy Cross and Wichita State, the California Native stepped onto the court in all three matches with more experience and fearless behavior executing a total of 34 kills. 

The sophomore is always trying to build on her achievements.

Women's Volleyball, Serena Gray (16)

Middle blocker Serena Gray (16) celebrates with teammates after a point during a game against Northwestern at the Rec Hall on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. The Nittany Lions won the match 3-0.

“I have not lived up to any expectations that I have for the season but definitely getting there,” Gray said. 

The AVCA Honorable Mention All-American played in 96 sets and 31 matches last season finishing with 177 kills and a hit percentage of .325.Gray earned herself one Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor during last season and had three double-digit kill performances. 

Although Gray has set a high standard as a freshman she has also learned some important lessons, especially about taking risks, into her second year as a Nittany Lion.

“It’s okay to fail knowing you are getting better and you can’t expect to be good without taking risk,” Gray said.“ You need to know that the harder you hit and the riskier you are playing the bigger the award but then also the lower the low could be and that’s an important thing to keep in mind.”

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