Category Archives: PSU 1998-2011

Debuts Compared – Freshman Seasons of a Few PSU Players You May Remember

                                               Some new Nittany Lions are on the prowl.  How are they doing?

 How Do You Like Them Apples-to-Oranges?

This 2011 Penn State Women’s Volleyball team is so young (take a look at Penn State’s 2011 statistical leaders: Attack Leaders – all sophomores and freshmen; Set/Serve leaders – one junior, one sophomore, one freshman; Recept/Dig leaders – one junior, three sophomores, two freshmen; Block/Points leaders – four sophomores, three freshmen). 

Looking at all those underclassmen made us wonder how the 2011 freshmen compare to several notable freshmen from previous seasons: OHs Nicole Fawcett, Megan Hodge, Darcy Dorton, and Deja McClendon; MHs Christa Harmotto and Arielle Wilson; and Setters Sam Tortorello and Alisha Glass.

Upfront disclaimers and disclosures.   First, and foremost, we are not suggesting that any of the current crop of freshmen will be as successful as our comparison group.  We simply were curious what the comparison would show. 

Second, we know we are making apples-to-oranges comparisons here, in two significant ways: 1) pre-2008 statistics from the 30-point per-set era (or was it per-game?), and 2) statistics for complete seasons to statistics for a 2011 season that is only 10 matches old. 

But, with respect to the first point, we don’t have the statistical chops to make the adjustments to account for the points-per-set differential (plus we, and our crack team of DigNittany researchers and statisticians, are astonishingly lazy — especially the researchers!).  And second, we’ll update these tables as the 2011 season progresses.

So, with full understanding that these are admittedly imperfect comparisons, and without making judgements about what we found (we’ll save that for later), here are the results from our comparison: 

Debuts Compared - Attack Stats 10-8-11

#Name Pos.ClassSPMP MS
3Harmotto, ChristaMHFr. - 200594nana2782.9677564.356
7Wilson, ArielleMHFr. - 20078330211982.3940354.446
7Grant, NiaMHFr. - 2011561515651.1619141.326
6Tortorello, SamSFr. - 20021073330810.7628212.250
6Glass, Alisha
SFr. - 200611335351311.1643335.263
12Hancock, MichaSFr. - 2011601615540.9019116.302

Debuts Compared - Set/Serve - 10-8-11

#Name Pos.ClassSPMPMSAstAst/SSASA/SetSE
6Tortorello, SamSFr. - 2002107 nana133812.50370.3519
6Glass, Alisha
SFr. - 20061133535141312.50210.1939
12Hancock, MichaSFr. - 20116016155709.50490.9029

Debuts Compared - Recept/Dig - 10-8-11

#Name Pos.ClassSPMPMSREDigDig/Set
6Tortorello, SamSFr. - 2002107nana02252.10
6Glass, Alisha
SFr. - 2006113353522302.04
12Hancock, MichaSFr. - 201160161541382.30

Debuts Compared - Blocking/Points - 10-8-11

#Name Pos.ClassSPMPMSBSBATotalB/SBEBHEPointsPoints/Set
3Harmotto, ChristaMHFr. - 200594nana251161411.50102361.03.84
7Wilson, ArielleMHFr. - 2007833021181311491.80111281.53.39
7Grant, Nia MHFr. - 2011561515448520.932093.01.66
6Tortorello, SamSFr. - 2002107nana754610.57318152.01.42
6Glass, Alisha
SFr. - 20061133535121171291.14928222.51.97
12Hancock, MichaSFr. - 2011601615328310.52611120.02.00

Penn State to Play Florida, Stanford & Texas in Annual Tournament?

Gainesville, Fla. – Monday October 19, 2009 According to the, the official site of Florida athletics, Florida head volleyball coach Mary Wise announced Monday evening on her radio show that Florida and “three national volleyball powerhouses” — Penn State, Stanford and Texas — have agreed “in principle” to play each other in an annual… Continue Reading

Penn State Nittany Lions Women’s Volleyball -Wikipedia

Here’s the link to Wikipedia’s entry about Penn State Nittany Lions Women’s Volleyball. It is a great resource, with references and citations about Penn States long tradition of success with its women’s volleyball program, founded by Tom Tait in 1976, with Russ Rose as the Coach since 1979. More from Wikipedia. Continue Reading

Steve Jones Talks with Coach Russ Rose

Steve Jones sits down with coach Russ Rose to discuss the successes of Penn State Women’s Volleyball, six weeks before Coach Rose led his team to Penn State’s 3rd national title. Steve Jones: “When you talk about great programs, regardless of sport, you have to talk about the Penn State Women’s Volleyball program, and the… Continue Reading