Category Archives: 2008 Season

Big Ten Tall Tales III: Blocking Leaders (2003 to 2010)

This is Part III 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 that is the earliest year for which the Big Ten has league online statistics.

As we noted in Big Ten Tall Tales I (which focuses on hitting percentage statistics) and Big Ten Tall Tales II (which focuses on kills/set statistics), height alone does not equal volleyball success — hard play, quality swings, great passing, and good blocking technique come in all sizes. But we were curious as to whether there might be a slight upward trend. We quickly found that there wasn’t for our sample — probably too small a sample of players and too short a period of time. In fact, some of the earlier years have taller average heights than some of the later years. Perhaps if the sample went back to 1980, a trend to taller players would become apparent.

Still, the exercise was interesting to us. If you take some time to explore the table below, you’ll learn (if you didn’t already know) that during this eight-year period, only four players were ranked in the top-ten in blocks/set four times — one each from Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin (these four schools are listed alphabetically, but coincidentally, the order would be the same if we listed the players by last name).  Sixteen freshmen made the top ten, including five in 2004 — a year in which only one senior made the top-10 (which is one more senior than made the top-10 in 2009, when none made the list).

We added links for each player, either to their bio (if we could find one) or to an article about them (when we couldn’t locate a bio). We enjoy the retrospective, and hope you do too.

The table is sortable, meaning you can reorder the data by clicking on the arrows at the top of each column. Though we instructed our crack team of proofreaders and statisticians to use extra care on this project, their attitude has deteriorated somewhat over the past few weeks, as they explore their free and independent lifestyles.  Consequently, there may well be errors. Please let us know if you spot any.

Big Ten Women's Volleyball Blocking Leaders 2003 to 2010 (Minimum - 1.00/Set - Conference Only)

2003 Lange, ErikaNUSr.6-37125801051.48
2003Bowman, MeganMICHFr.6-163882901.43
2003Nelson, MeredithMINNFr.6-3719921011.42
2003 Brewer, MelissaINDSr.6-170887951.36
2003 Salyer, CassyPSUFr.6-565879871.34
2003 Moore, ErinMICHSr.6-1774971011.31
2003Smith, CaraPSUSr.6-074488921.24
2003 Argabright, LisaILLSr.6-5752568931.24
2003 McConaha, KimPURJr.6-1731370831.14
2003Pollom, Katie INDSr.6-3692055751.09
2003 Average Average na6-2.3nanananana
2004Walbridge, Melissa PSUFr.6-350372751.50
2004 Miller, LyndsayMICHFr.6-2752078981.31
2004Hynds, JenILLFr.6-358669751.29
2004 McConaha, KimPURSr.6-1761084941.24
2004 Shaw, SheilaWISJr.6-272683891.24
2004Bowman, MeganMICHSo.6-175881891.19
2004 Salyer, CassyPSUSo.6-5691268801.16
2004Meyer, Danielle OSUFr.6-170675811.16
2004 Reineke, Taylor WISFr.6-361960691.13
2004Nelson, MeredithMINNSo.6-3661255671.02
2004 Average Average na6-2.4 nanananana
2005Walbridge, Melissa PSUSo.6-360890981.63
2005 Reineke, Taylor WISSo.6-37481121201.62
2005 Shaw, SheilaWISSr.6-27421891101.49
2005Harmotto, ChristaPSUFr.6-2561766831.48
2005 Lynch, Stephanie PURFr.6-37515921071.43
2005 Aldridge, BrittneyNUSo.6-375889971.29
2005Eberle, Mandy INDSr.6-172883911.26
2005Brown, VickyILLSo.6-277981901.17
2005 Salyer, CassyPSUJr.6-561764711.16
2005Jones, JessyMINNSo.6-3691861791.14
2005 Average Average na6-2.7nanananana
2006 Reineke, Taylor WISJr.6-368151021171.72
2006Harmotto, ChristaPSUSo.6-261986951.56
2006Walbridge, Melissa PSUJr.6-3641184951.48
2006Moddrell, Annie INDJr.6-1671375881.31
2006Hyser, ChelsyNUSo.6-1741777941.27
2006Macdonald, MeghanILLSr.6-1631268801.27
2006 Aldridge, BrittneyNUJr.6-3721178891.24
2006 Lynch, Stephanie PURSo.6-3711866841.18
2006Jones, JessyMINNJr.6-3711567821.15
2006Barcus, JenIOWASr.6-168969781.15
2006 Average Average na6-2.1 nanananana
2007 Wilson, AriellePSUFr. 6-3511477911.78
2007Harmotto, ChristaPSUJr.6-26519951141.75
2007Jones, JessyMINNSr.6-36412941061.66
2007 Reineke, Taylor WISSr.6-375131031161.55
2007 Lynch, Stephanie PURJr.6-37123841071.51
2007 Benson, AshleyINDFr.6-368986951.40
2007 Aldridge, BrittneyNUSr.6-3651274861.32
2007Jeffers, AudraWISJr.6-269883911.32
2007Meyer, DanielleOSUSr.6-1751678941.25
2007Hyser, ChelsyNUJr.6-1761481951.25
2007 Average Average na6-2.4 nanananana
2008 Bangert, JohannahILLSo.6-17551241291.72
2008 Wilson, AriellePSUSo.6-360883911.52
2008Harmotto, ChristaPSUSr.6-2601278901.50
2008 Lynch, Stephanie PURSr.6-377131001131.47
2008 Gibbemeyer, LaurenMINNSo.6-27516891051.40
2008 Benson, AshleyINDSo.6-38011911021.27
2008 Bartsch, MichelleILLFr.6-375784911.21
2008King, VanessaMSUJr.6-0721374871.21
2008Hyser, ChelsyNUSr.6-1751672881.17
2008 Barhorst, KelliOSUFr.6-2701067771.10
2008 Average Average na6-2.0 nanananana
2009 Bangert, JohannahILLJr.6-17361201261.73
2009 Wilson, AriellePSUJr.6-36510951051.62
2009Balza, FatimaPSUJr.6-3611185961.57
2009 Gibbemeyer, LaurenMINNJr.6-267888961.43
2009 Moffett, SabelNUJr.6-07618821001.32
2009 Benson, AshleyINDJr.6-3791085951.20
2009 Bartsch, MichelleILLSo.6-373282841.15
2009Husz, MalloryIOWASo.6-0451238501.11
2009Drewry, Anna
2009 Average Average na6-2.0nanananana
2010 Benson, AshleyINDSr.6-3709951041.49
2010 Gibbemeyer, LaurenMINNSr.6-2551562771.40
2010Mathews, AlexisMSUFr.6-3721479931.29
2010 Moffett, SabelNUSr.6-0771583981.27
2010 Bangert, JohannahILLSr.6-1802991011.26
2010Balza, FatimaPSUSr.6-349555601.22
2010 Arthurs, KristenPURSr.6-379385881.11
2010Johnson, NaomiNUSr.6-377877851.10
2010Wittmer, TaylorINDSr.6-169466701.01
2010 Barhorst, KelliOSUJr.6-2731558731.00
2010 Average Average na6-2.1nanananana

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

Penn State Signs Three for 2011 (Plus: Recruiting Look-back – 2004 to 2009)

  Penn State’s 2011 Recruits Two weeks ago (give or take) NCAA Women’s Volleyball teams were first able to sign 2011 high school seniors to a National Letter of Intent (which the NCAA defines as “the document a prospective student-athlete signs when he or she agrees to attend the designated college or university for one… Continue Reading

The Streak: Flying High and the Law of Gravity

During “The Streak” (109 consecutive victories by the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team from September 21, 2007 to September 10, 2010), Penn State won an NCAA record 55 consecutive road matches, three consecutive NCAA titles, lost a total of 19 sets, and from the final set of the 2007 National Championship match against Stanford to the third set of the 2008 NCAA National Semifinal match against… 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 Finishes Up Much-Criticized Preseason Schedule

Many women’s volleyball fans have criticized Penn State’s preseason schedule as heavy on the dessert (“cupcakes” is an oft-used word to describe many of the preseason opponents) and light on quality opponents. DigNittanyVolleyball agrees the pre-season schedule isn’t as tough as some teams’ schedules, but doesn’t believe Penn State “ducked” playing tough opponents: You can’t… Continue Reading

Big Ten Network Selects Russ Rose as 2008-09 Big Ten Women’s Coach of the Year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., June 20, 2009. “Penn State was the big winner at the Big Ten Network’s 2008-09 Awards Show, capturing four of the nine award categories. Nittany Nation’s voice was clearly heard on the program, as Penn State swept all three awards determined by fan voting during the past month. Penn State was the… Continue Reading