UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Following a 24-10 season in 2016 the Penn State women’s volleyball team will begin the 2017 campaign ranked No. 6 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The Nittany Lions began 2016 ranked ninth and were unable to climb any higher eventually concluding the season at No. 9 after falling to Nebraska in five sets in the NCAA Regionals.
Penn State returns All-Americans Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.) to bolster a lineup filled with talented upperclassmen.
Washington played in all 121 sets in 2016 leading the team with a .430 hitting percentage while adding 291 kills. Lee paced the team with 503 kills (4.16 per set) good for second in the conference while Frantti added 295 kills.
The Lions join seven other Big Ten schools ranked in the AVCA preseason poll and are the third highest behind Minnesota (No. 4) and Nebraska (No. 5). Wisconsin (No. 7), Michigan (No. 16), Michigan State (No. 17), Ohio State (No. 21) and Purdue (No. 25) also make the list.
Penn State opens the season on the road in the West Virginia Tournament as they will play Tennessee-Martin (Aug. 25), Delaware (Aug. 26) and the host Mountaineers (Aug. 26).