Penn State dominated college volleyball with four straight national championships from 2007-2010, and then two again in 2013 and 2015. They have seven total national championships. So, it's safe to say that there were quite a few volleyball stars to make their way through Penn State.
Actually, it's really safe to say.
There was no right or wrong answer to picking an all-time lineup for Penn State, because so many options were all-time lineup worthy. I chose this lineup by focusing on AVCA All-America selections, AVCA national players of the year, national championships, Olympic or professional experience and all-time records at Penn State. And also, how these players were in regards to the rest of the country during their time.
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Here is the all-time starting lineup for Penn State:
Megan Hodge (Easy) | Outside hitter | 2006-2009
Hodge was a no-brainer for the all-time team, and I anticipate few arguments on this one. She was one of the most decorated volleyball players to ever make her way through the program. She was the 2009 AVCA National Player of the Year, a four-time first team all-American, two-time Big Ten Player of the Year (once as a freshman), and Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. Oh, and she was Most Outstanding Player. Then she became an Olympian, and won a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics with the U.S. team. Hodge is second in Penn State history with 2,142 kills, but then she is first in career kills per set with 4.55, and career attacks with 4,714.
Nicole Fawcett | Outside hitter | 2005-2008
Here is another AVCA National Player of the Year for the lineup. Fawcett ranks third in career kills, kills per set and attacks at Penn State. Her senior year, she tallied 431 kills on .358 hitting and helped lead the Nittany Lions to her second national championship in a row. She was a first-team all-American three times, and the one year she wasn't she was the AVCA National Freshman of the Year. She went on to play for the U.S. National team who won the 2014 World Championship and 2015 Pan American Games gold medal.
Lori Barberich (Rose) | Outside hitter | 1982-1985
Barberich remains the all-time Penn State career kills leader. No one has broken her record of 2,282 career kills and 2,457 career points. She is second in career kills per set behind Hodge, and second in total attacks. She was a two-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. Barberich was also the first All-American in Penn State history.
It was a close call between choosing the third hitter, when there are great other options such as Blair Brown (Lipsitz) who won the national championship all four years she was at Penn State, and Deja McCLendon who was Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament. But, I went with Barberich, who paved the way for Penn State and is second on the all-time kills per set record list at Penn State.
Christa Harmotto | Middle blocker | 2005-2008
Harmotto was a three-time All-American and a key member of the 2007 and 2008 championship teams. She also was Big Ten Player of the Year. She was a great blocker and was second in the nation with a .492 hitting percentage in 2007, and led the nation in hitting percentage for most of the 2008 season with a .486 hitting percentage. She is second at Penn State in career hitting percentage and third in career block assists with 581. There were many great blockers at Penn State, and I even considered Arielle Wilson, the Penn State hitting percentage leader, but valued Harmotto's 275 kill season while hitting .486 and leading one of the best volleyball teams during her senior year.
Lauren Cacciamani (Tom) |Middle Blocker | 1996-1999
Cacciamani led Penn State to its first ever national championship. She had 20 kills and eight blocks as the most outstanding player in the championship game. She also won the Honda Volleyball Award, Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Athlete of the Year and co-National Player of the Year. She is fifth on the all-time Penn State career kills list as a blocker, and is fifth on the list for kills per set and hitting percentage.
Alisha Glass | Setter | 2006-2009
Glass was a three-time national champion at Penn State, and the setter for one of the most efficient Penn State rosters of all time (2008), one that lost only two sets all year. At Penn State, she's fourth in career assists with 5,800 and assists per set with 12.47 and holds the 30-point rally-scoring era record for blocks in a five-set match. She went on to be the primary setter for the 2016 U.S. women's Olympic team. Some other amazing setters to go through Penn State include Micha Hancock, who was an AVCA National Player of the Year as a setter, and Salima Rockwell, who had four national championships and served as an associate head coach at Penn State.
EXPLAINER: The college volleyball rotation, explained
Kendall White | Libero| 2016-2019
We've got a current Nittany Lion on the roster, but rightfully so. White, the senior libero for Penn State is a two-time All-American. She currently has 1,788 career digs and tallies 4.18 digs per set. That is on pace to set the Penn State record for all-time career digs.
Who's your pick to be in the all-time starting lineup for Penn State? We'd love to hear from you. Tell us at NCAASupport@turner.com.