This is the fifth installment in our seven-part series that looks at how PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces have done over the years, using the rankings for Penn State’s incoming 2018 class as the focal point. PrepVolleyball.com’s annual Senior Ace list ranks the top 100 seniors (according to a poll of numerous college and club coaches) for that year.
Here’s a listing of Penn State’s seven 2018 Senior Aces:
- #3 — Kaitlyn Hord, 6-5 MB, Henry Clay HS, (Lexington, Kentucky);
- #5 — Serena Gray, 6-2 MB (Temple City, California);
- #14 – Jonni Parker, 6-0 S/OH, Miami East HS (Casstown, Ohio);
- #28 – Gabby Blossom, 5-10 S, St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Louis, Missouri);
- #31 – Jenna Hampton, 5-7 libero, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Florida);
- #56 – Amanda Phegley, 6-4 MB, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Florida); and
- #71 – Allyson Cathey, 6-1 OH, New Albany (Indiana).
For this fifth installment, we’re looking at the #14-ranked Senior Aces from 2007 through 2016 (Jonni Parker, the incoming freshman rightside/setter for Penn State, was ranked #14 in 2018).
Players Who Were Ranked #14 Senior Ace
2007: Nikki Fowler, 6-2 OH/RS, Tennessee
- As a senior in 2010, Nikki was named to the All-SEC First Team for the third consecutive year, hitting .306 in 32 matches, with 3.51 kills/set, 2.89 digs/set, and 0.54 blocks/set.
- In her junior year (2009), Nikki earned All-SEC First Team and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors for the second straight season. After that year, Nikki ranked 12th on the Lady Vols all-time career kills list (1,256), second in attacks per set (9.91), sixth in kills per set (3.57), seventh in digs per set (2.72) and sixth in total attacks (3,488).
- As a sophomore, Nikki was the only unanimous All- SEC First Team selection and earned honorable mention All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
- For her freshman season (2007), Nikki was named 2007 SEC Freshman of the Year and earned SEC All- Freshman Team honors. She was one of only three players to start all 29 matches for the Lady Vols in 2007.
2008: Kyndra Abron, 6-2 OH, Michigan State
- Kyndra enjoyed a solid career as a Spartan. As a senior (2011), she was selected to the All-Big Ten Team as an honorable mention, after finishing the year second on the team in kills with 420 and points with 469.5, and third in total blocks with 89. She was one of only two Spartans to play in all 122 sets that season.
- As a junior (2010), Kyndra was selected to the COBRA Magazine All-Region Team and ended the year ranked fourth on the team in kills with 256 and total blocks with 76.
- In 2009, Kyndra became MSU’s first sophomore All-America honoree, earning an AVCA Honorable Mention selection. She also was named as a First-Team All-Big Ten honoree.
- As a freshman, Kyndra played in 105 sets over 30 matches (starting 10), finishing the season ranked third on the team with 228 kills and 259.0 total points.
2009: Correy Johnson, 6-4 MB, California
- Correy struggled throughout her senior season (2012) with a “stress reaction in her leg,” missing 24 sets, and being unable to practice “all season long.”
- As a junior (2011), Correy earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention, was third on the squad with 2.41 kills per set and 0.90 blocks per set, and hit .354, good for #7 on Cal’s career single-season list.
- In 2010, Correy hit .327 (3rd on the team and 10th in the Pac-10), was 2nd on the team with 287.5 points, and was named an AVCA All-America honorable mention and to the AVCA All-Pacific Region team.
- As a freshman, Correy appeared in all 32 matches and 122 sets for the Bears, ranked #4 on the team with 1.66 kills/set, and was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
2010: Erica Denney, 6-4 MB, Penn State/Denver
Erica Denny battled injury throughout her Penn State career, sitting out her freshman (2010) and junior (2012) seasons due to injuries. In 2014, she transferred to the University of Denver, for a fifth-year senior season.
2011: Katie Messing, 6-4 MB/OH, Pepperdine
In four seasons, Katie played in 110 matches and 376 sets, ending her career ranked 14th in program history with 1,085 kills, and averaging 2.89 kills, 1.44 digs and 0.50 blocks per set. As a senior and as a junior, Katie was named an All-WCC honorable mention. In 2011 she was voted to WCC All-Freshman team.
2012: Meghan Haggerty, 6-3 MB, Nebraska
AVCA All-America Honorable Mention (2012, 2013)
» AVCA All-North Region First Team (2013)
» AVCA All-Mideast Region Honorable Mention (2012)
» Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week
» All-Big Ten Freshman Team (2012)
» Four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week (2012)
2013: Kelly Hunter, 5-11 S/RS, Nebraska
• AVCA All-America First Team (2017)
• AVCA All-America Second Team (2016)
• AVCA All-America Honorable Mention (2015)
• NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player (2017)
• NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (2015, 2017)
• Big Ten Setter of the Year (2017)
• All-Big Ten Team (2016, 2017)
• AVCA North Region Player of the Year (2017)
2014: Crissy Jones, 6-2 MB, Washington
In her senior season (2017) Crissy Jones earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention, despite missing all of preseason (11 matches total), due to an ankle injury and being limited to back row only in additional matches. For the year, she played 86 of 121 sets and 22 of 33 matches, and was fifth on the team with 171 kills, averaging 1.99 per set. Career honors:
- 2017 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
- 2016 AVCA All-America Second Team
- 2016 All-Pac-12 Team
- 2016 All-Pacific North Region Team
- 2015 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
- 2014 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team
2015: Jordan Vail, 6-1 MB, Baylor/North Dakota
- In her junior season (2017) at North Dakota, Jordan averaged 2.51 kills/set (.342 hitting %) with 1.03 blocks/set and 3.09 points/set.
- Jordan transferred to North Dakota for her sophomore year (2016), playing in 20 matches, and hitting .304 (#3 all-time at North Dakota, minimum 100 kills).
- As a freshman at Baylor, Jordan played in the middle, hitting .330 and ranking #2 on the team with 77 total blocks.
2016: Jenna Gray, 6-0 S, Stanford
- Pac-12 Setter of the Year (2017)
- AVCA All-America first team (2017)
- AVCA All-Pacific North Region (2017)
- All-Pac-12 Conference (2017)
- NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team (2016)
- Confetti – Michigan State at Penn State, 12-9-17 (Photo by Steve Manuel).