This is the final 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 seventh installment, we’re looking at the #3-ranked Senior Aces from 2007 through 2016 (Kaitlyn Hord, the incoming freshman middle blocker for Penn State, was ranked #3 in 2018).
Players Who Were Ranked #3 Senior Ace
2007: Jennifer Doris, 6-5 MB, Texas
- As a senior (2010), Jennifer Doris appeared in all 33 matches for Texas, starting 30 and appeared in 117 sets. Her .426 hitting % ranked #3 at the time in the NCAA for season hitting, and #2 in the Big 12. She was named to the 2010 NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament Team and was a 2010 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
- In her junior season (2009), Jennifer led Texas and ranked fifth in the Big 12 with 1.13 blocks per-set. She started 22 matches and appeared in all 31, playing in 104 sets. Jennifer started 32 of 33 matches in her sophomore season (2008) and played in 115 sets.
- She ranked second among Texas starters with a .419 attack mark and led the team with 115 total blocks and 1.00 blocks per-set (which ranked eighth in the Big 12).
- As a freshman in 2007, Jennifer started 10 matches and appeared in 50 sets.
2008: Rachael Adams, 6-2 MB, Texas
- 2011 AVCA All-America First Team
- 2011 AVCA All-Central Region First Team
- 2010 AVCA All-America First Team
- 2010 Volleyball Magazine All-America First Team
- 2010 NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament Team
- 2010 AVCA All-Central Region First Team
- Two-time All-Big 12 First Team (2009, 2010, 2011)
2009: Hayley Spelman, 6-6 RS, Stanford
- As a senior in 2012, Hayley Spelman played in 42 sets as an opposite … averaged 1.14 kills and 0.48 blocks per set.
- As a junior in 2011, she appeared in in 65 sets, averaging 1.83 kills and 0.74 blocks per set.
- In her sophomore season, Haley earned All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention, was second on the team with 2.37 kills, and averaged 0.42 blocks and 2.61 points per set.
- As a Freshman in 2009, Hayley played in 62 sets.
2010: Rachel Williams, 5-11 OH, Stanford
- As a Senior in 2013, Rachel Williams was one of five Cardinal players to average at least 2.72 kills per set (2.78), hit a career-best .245 and totaled 2.60 digs and 0.71 blocks per set. Her performance earned her All Pac-12 Conference honorable mention.
- As a Junior in 2012, Rachel played in 98 sets, averaged 2.02 kills, 0.88 digs and 0.86 blocks per set, hit a career-best .239 as a right side hitter, and earned All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention.
- In her sophomore season (2011), Rachel finished fifth in the Pac-12 and 23rd in the nation with 4.32 kills per set, ranked fifth in the conference with 4.96 points per set and 19th nationally, and averaged 3.10 digs, 0.76 blocks and 0.18 aces per set. Her performance earned her AVCA All-America honorable mention, a spot on the AVCA All-Pacific Region Team, and selection to the All-Pac-12 Conference team.
- As a Freshman in 2010, Rachel played in 108 of the team’s 109 sets, was fourth on the team with 1.83 kills/set and fifth with 2.10 points/set, and was named to the 2010 All-Pac-10 Freshman Team.
2011: Elizabeth McMahon, 6-6 MB/RS, Illinois
- Played in 134 career matches, appearing in 508 sets, posting 1,443 career kills, 434 blocks, 180 digs, 30 service aces and 21 assists, with a career .248 hitting percentage. Liz finished her career ranked 10th all time at Illinois in career kills, seventh in total attacks, eighth in block assists, 11th in total blocks and ninth in points, while appearing in the third-most sets and 10th-most matches in Illinois history. She ranked 24th among active players nationally in career kills, playing in the second-most sets and 10th-most matches of any Division I classmate.
- As a senior, Liz was a Big Ten Medal of Honor, Senior CLASS Award Winner, AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, AVCA All-Northeast Region honoree, and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
- As a junior in 2013, Liz earned AVCA All-Northeast Region Honorable Mention and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
- As a sophomore in 2012, Liz was named to the All-Big Ten team.
- As a freshman in 2011, she was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge All-Tournament Team.
2012: Jordan Burgess, 6-0 OH, Stanford
- Jordan Burgess became the ninth Stanford player to register 1,000 career kills and digs, finishing her career ranked fifth all-time in digs (1,320) and ninth in digs per set (2.84).
- As a senior (2015), Jordan was named to the AVCA All-America first team.
- As a Junior (2014), Jordan was named to the AVCA All-America first team, the Volleyball Magazine All-America second team, and to the AVCA All-Pacific North Region and All-Pac-12 Conference teams.
- In her sophomore season (2013), Jordan was honored as an AVCA All-America honorable mention and was named to the Volleyball Magazine All-America second team, the AVCA All-Pacific North Region honorable mention team and the All-Pac-12 Conference team.
- As a freshman (2012), Jordan Played in 116 sets, making 29 starts. She led the team with 2.87 kills per set and ranked second with 3.41 digs per set. She was named to the All-Pac-12 Conference and All-Pac-12 Freshman teams.
2013: Abby Cole, 6-5 MB, Michigan
- As a senior, Abby Cole wrapped up a record-breaking career with numerous postseason honors. The middle blocker and team co-captain led her team in multiple statistical categories during the 2016 campaign, finishing a dominant final season ranking second all-time in Michigan’s record books with a .317 career attack percentage. She also finished fifth in program history in career kills with 1,452, capping off the 2016 season with an AVCA All-America second team selection along with a unanimous All-Big Ten Conference first-team honor.
- AVCA All-America second team (2015)
- Two-time All-Big Ten (2014, 2015)
- Named to Big Ten All-Freshman Team (2013)
2014: Rhamat Alhassan, 6-4 MB, Florida
- 2017-18 Honda Sport Award winner – Volleyball
- 2017 SEC Player of the Year
- Four-time AVCA All-American (2014 — Second Team; 2015, 2017 — First Team; 2016 — Third Team)
- Four-time AVCA All-Southeast Region (2014-16)
- Four-time All-SEC (2014-16)
- Career .423 hitting percentage ranked tied for 7th in Division I history
- Florida record holder in career total blocks (674) and block assists (584)
- Career 1.52 blocks per set average ranks second in UF history
- 90 career block solos rank sixth in UF history
- 1,278 career kills rank 10th in UF history
- 3.89 career points per set rank 10th in UF history
2015: Jordyn Poulter, 6-2 S, Illinois
- In her junior season (2017), Jordan totaled 1,357 assists for a 10.69 assists per set average this season to rank 48th in the nation and eighth in the Big Ten, while leading the Illini to a .276 team hitting percentage. She also ranked second on the team with 116 blocks and 306 digs, for a 0.91 blocks and 2.41 digs per set average, and added 109 kills on a .369 hitting percentage. Jordan was the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top 15 in assists and blocks in both overall and conference statistics through the end of the regular season. She earned AVCA All-America Third-Team, AVCA All-Northeast Region, and All-Big Ten honors.
- As a sophomore (2016), Jordan was one of only three Illini to start all 31 matches, playing in 112 sets. She totaled 1,190 assists, 166 digs, 112 blocks, 79 kills, 13 service aces, and hit .348. She ranked sixth in the Big Ten in assists per set (10.63). Jordan earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, AVCA All-Northeast Region and All-Big Ten honors.
- In her freshman season (2015), Jordan played in 32 matches (starting 29), playing in 104 sets. She totaled 1,088 assists, 223 digs, 81 blocks, 56 kills, and 12 service aces, hitting .241. She averaged 10.46 per set to rank 62nd in the NCAA. She was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
2016: Kathryn Plummer, 6-6 RS/S, Stanford
- AVCA National Player of the Year (2017)
- espnW National Player of the Year (2017)
- AVCA Freshman of the Year (2016)
- Two-time AVCA All-America first team (2016, 2017)
- NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team (2016)
- AVCA All-Pacific North Region Player of the Year (2017)
- AVCA Pacific North Region Freshman of the Year (2016)
- Pac-12 Player of the Year (2017)
- Pac-12 Freshman of the Year (2016)
- Two-time AVCA All-Pacific North Region (2016, 2017)
- Two-time All-Pac-12 Conference (2016, 2017)
- All-Pac-12 Freshman Team (2016)
- Michigan State vs. Penn State, 12-9-17. Photograph by Steve Manuel.