Penn State Volleyball lands six on AVCA All-Region team

UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State women’s volleyball team saw six student-athletes named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Northeast Region team on Tuesday morning as seniors Simone Lee, Haleigh Washington, Ali Frantti, and Heidi Thelen, and sophomore Kendall White were named to the regional team, while senior Abby Detering was named to the honorable mention list, as announced by the organization’s office.

Simone Lee was also tabbed at the Northeast Player of the Year, while Head Coach Russ Rose was named the Northeast Coach of the Year.

With the distinctions, it marked Washington’s third selection to the All-Region team and Lee’s second such honor. Frantti was named to the All-Region team in both 2014 and 2015 and earned honorable mention in 2016.

This marks the first career All-Region honors for Thelen, White, and Detering.

Lee, who was the 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year and a 2016 AVCA All-American, is averaging team-best 3.87 kills per set this season while tallying a career-best average of 2.23 digs per set. She also increased her hitting percentage this season to an impressive .316, her first plus-.300 season of her career. She tallied nine double-doubles in her senior campaign, and put down double-digit kills in 27 of the Nittany Lions’ 32 matches so far this season, including a 30-kill match in a five-set win over Texas A&M.

Washington, who was the 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time AVCA All-American, is leading the nation with a .513 hitting percentage, while putting down 3.06 kills per set on the season. Defensively, Washington has averaged 1.5 blocks per set on the year. Washington’s averages on the season are all career bests, including surpassing 3.00-kills per set for the first time in her career. Washington has tallied 22 double-digit kill performances, including a career-best 21 in a four-set win over Minnesota. She has added 20 matches with at least 5.0 blocks, including 10.0 in the Nittany Lion’s five-set set win over Stanford, where she also put down 11 kills for a double-double.

White, a 2017 All-Big Ten honoree, was the only libero named to the All-Big Ten Team, and was one of two liberos named to the all-region team. White is averaging a team-best 3.76 digs per set, while dishing out 22 aces on the year, and adding 73 assists. The libero finished the season with a 97.4-percent success rating in her 460 serve receive attempts. White also proved to be essential in aiding the Nittany Lions to their national-best hitting percentage of .345 as throughout the season, she has provided endless cover plays for her hitters. She also has helped keep Penn State’s opponents to just .167 hitting and 11.50 kills per set average.

Thelen, a 2017 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Honoree, has improved her hitting percentage to a career-best .363 on the season while putting down 1.69 kills per set on the right side. She also has added 0.94 blocks per set this year.

Frantti, a 2014 AVCA All-American, has put down 2.46 kills per set this year while adding 1.76 digs and 0.58 blocks per set. She has also added two double-doubles and added a career defensive performance when she scooped up 17 digs against Minnesota to help the Nittany Lions secure a share of the Big Ten title.

Detering has recorded five double-doubles on the season and recorded the program’s triple-double in the Penn State 3-1 win over Stanford. She is playing as both a setter and a hitter in the Nittany Lions’ 6-2 offense and is averaging 5.83 assists per set, and a career-best 1.32 kills per set. She also adds 1.79 digs per set and .065 blocks per set to her stat line. She has also dished out a team-high 32 aces this season.

Rose has earned his 13th Region Coach of the Year honor.