Category Archives: 1998 – 2005 Seasons

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

Big Ten Tall Tales II: Kills Leaders (2003 to 2010)

Photo courtesy of Tom Hilton, Wikimedia Commons   This is Part II of a three-part series — Big Ten Tall Tales, in which we have compiled statistics on the height of the top hitters and blockers (statistically speaking) in the Big Ten from 2003 through 2010, along with their statistics for each year.  We started with 2003 because… Continue Reading

Big Ten Tall Tales I: Hitting Percentage Leaders (2003 to 2010)

Photo courtesy of Acroterion, Wikimedia Commons. Although volleyball success requires much more than height — hard play, quality swings, and good blocking technique come in all sizes — after we read that someone had compiled statistics on the height of the top-ranked players (statistically speaking) in the Big Ten, Pac 10, and Big Twelve conferences… Continue Reading

All-Big Ten Setters from 2000 to 2010

    The 2010 season was a great one for setters in the Big Ten: Michigan’s Lexi Zimmerman, Purdue’s Jaclyn Hart, and Illinois’ Hillary Haen all made First-Team All-Big Ten. Though Penn State’s Kristin Carpenter did not make the All-Big Ten First Team or receive Honorable Mention (the only year during the period 2000 to 2010 that… Continue Reading

Dropped Sets and the Pursuit of Perfection: How the Final Four Teams from 1998 to 2009 Stack Up

Perfection in sports is rare. The Penn State Women’s Volleyball team came close in 2008, going 38-0 and dropping only two sets all season (those two coming in the classic NCAA Semifinal match against Nebraska in Omaha). This season, Penn State extended its streak of consecutive sets without a loss to 141, before losing a… 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

“The East Has Risen”: Third Time the Charm as Lions Claim Title

HONOLULU, HI, December 18, 1999. “In just one hour and twenty minutes, the top-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team erased memories of five game losses in the previous two title matches by sweeping Stanford for the first NCAA volleyball national championship in school history. The Nittany Lions defeated the Cardinal 15-2, 15-10, 15-7 in front… Continue Reading