As a heads-up, the 2011 Season for the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team starts on August 26th, in Rec Hall, when the Nittany Lions face off against Oregon in the Rockvale Outlets/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase at 8:00 pm (on Saturday evening, they’ll face Southern Cal, which may be the top team in the nation). I’ve posted a Season Preview (unofficial) on DigNittanyVolleyball.com. Here’s the link: http://www.dignittanyvolleyball.com/2011/08/10/psu-womens-volleyball-2011-season-preview/.
The complete post is fairly long, but here’s the intro:
[pre]Judging by the Official Roster posted on gopsusports.com, the 2011 Penn State Women’s Volleyball team won’t have any liberos and won’t have any opposites/right sides either.
That certainly would be a novelty, but we bet that when the team takes the floor against Oregon on Friday, August 26th at 8:00 pm (the match will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network (BTN) in case you’re unable to see it in person) liberos and opposites will be part of the team. The question is, who will be the libero and the opposite for Penn State’s first match in 2011?
Actually, Penn State has alot of questions heading into the 2011 season. Here are a few:
• Will Kristin Carpenter reprise her 2010 role as Penn State’s starting setter, or will true freshman Micha Hancock or junior Marika Racibarskas take the reigns as setter for this very young (seven freshmen and six sophomores) and inexperienced 2011 team?
• If either Hancock or Marika Racibarskas does take over at setter, will Carpenter move to libero or to defensive specialist?
• Will Katie Slay build on her impressive freshman campaign, adding more offense to her already lethal blocking?
• Will Ariel Scott make the move to middle hitter (she’s listed as an MH on the official Penn State roster – the one with no liberos or opposites), or opposite/right side, or will she stay at outside hitter? If she does move to middle hitter, will she be able to hit the fast tempo slide Penn State has featured since the 1990s?
• Will 2011 be a breakout year for Erica Denney, after her redshirt season in 2010?
• Assuming Deja McClendon has one OH spot wrapped up, and Ariel Scott moves to middle hitter or opposite/right side, who will earn the second OH position?
• Will incoming freshmen Lacey Fuller and Dominique Gonzalez help ease the loss of Alyssa D’Errico and Cathy Quilico? Will Ali Longo succeed in an expanded role? Where do Megan Shifflitt and Maggie Harding fit in?
• Oh yes, and who will start at opposite?
Obviously, we don’t know the answers to any of these questions (and there undoubtedly are more we’ve overlooked). Then again, we assume the Penn State coaching staff doesn’t know the answers right now either, and won’t until the conclusion of pre-season practice, at the earliest. Given the youth and relative inexperience of this team, it wouldn’t surprise us to see the answers change more than once, as Penn State evolves and matures during the season.