PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

OT - women's VB bounces back from Oregon loss to beat No. 2 USC

I have talked to Russ Rose a couple of times. He may the “dryest” guy I can remember. "Mr. Cool."
This year is going to be very interesting watching this young team grow/change.

The intensity in the gym was just unbelievable for the opening weekend. It felt like a Final Four match not a season opener.

Micha Hancock was unreal - she’s a star in the making. Russ really shook the lineup up after losing to Oregon on Friday. He moved last year’s starting setter, Kristin Carpenter, to libero to provide some back row defense. Russ tried two girls at libero on Friday and neither of them played well at all. Carpenter’s move shored things up back there and opened the door up for Hancock.

What won the match for us wasn’t so much Micha’s sets, it was her serves and second balls over. Micha had six aces on her serves (the entire rest of the team only had five aces in total over the whole weekend) and even her non aces were strong enough that USC couldn’t get in system. She serves harder than any women that I can remember playing here at PSU. And her second ball over decisions were almost flawless (I think she was something like 7 for 8 on them). Between serves and second balls, that’s over a dozen points that she alone was responsible for. She’s going to be fun to watch for the next four years.

[quote=“UncleLar, post:3, topic:2628”]The intensity in the gym was just unbelievable for the opening weekend. It felt like a Final Four match not a season opener.

Micha Hancock was unreal - she’s a star in the making. Russ really shook the lineup up after losing to Oregon on Friday. He moved last year’s starting setter, Kristin Carpenter, to libero to provide some back row defense. Russ tried two girls at libero on Friday and neither of them played well at all. Carpenter’s move shored things up back there and opened the door up for Hancock.

What won the match for us wasn’t so much Micha’s sets, it was her serves and second balls over. Micha had six aces on her serves (the entire rest of the team only had five aces in total over the whole weekend) and even her non aces were strong enough that USC couldn’t get in system. She serves harder than any women that I can remember playing here at PSU. And her second ball over decisions were almost flawless (I think she was something like 7 for 8 on them). Between serves and second balls, that’s over a dozen points that she alone was responsible for. She’s going to be fun to watch for the next four years.[/quote]f

I think she is a lefty, which really helps her out. It’s like a left-handed post player. You know she’s a lefty, but it’s still a surprise when she hits with that left.

I was there as well, it was incredible. I was actually inspired to post on Facebook after the fourth set “I’m really disappointed that I’ll never get to see a basketball game at Rec Hall”. I now see why some of you want that to happen.

As for the Volleyball match, Micha is going to be a damn star. Her serve is huge AND reliable. If I’m not mistaken she only made one service error all night and that was from a foot fault, and she had to have hit ~40 serves. Usually jump servers who actually go for it have a much lower percentage. Her second ball overs and out of this world as well. She doesn’t touch it over like most girls, she puts it down hard. I wouldn’t doubt her ability to be a decent outside hitter.

Unfortunately, this team has no middle hitter. Katie Slay just isn’t natural at it, but her blocking last night was still excellent. Number 6 (I can’t recall her name) looked great to me at outside hitter. Other than Deja she seemed like the only one who could put balls down, albeit she played in a sparing manner.

[quote=“Ajk822, post:5, topic:2628”]I was there as well, it was incredible. I was actually inspired to post on Facebook after the fourth set “I’m really disappointed that I’ll never get to see a basketball game at Rec Hall”. I now see why some of you want that to happen.

As for the Volleyball match, Micha is going to be a damn star. Her serve is huge AND reliable. If I’m not mistaken she only made one service error all night and that was from a foot fault, and she had to have hit ~40 serves. Usually jump servers who actually go for it have a much lower percentage. Her second ball overs and out of this world as well. She doesn’t touch it over like most girls, she puts it down hard. I wouldn’t doubt her ability to be a decent outside hitter.

Unfortunately, this team has no middle hitter. Katie Slay just isn’t natural at it, but her blocking last night was still excellent. Number 6 (I can’t recall her name) looked great to me at outside hitter. Other than Deja she seemed like the only one who could put balls down, albeit she played in a sparing manner.[/quote]

#6 is sophomore Maddie Martin.

Your estimate of Micha’s serves is a bit high. Penn State scored 107 points which means they had approximately 107 serves, give or take 1 or 2. While Micha undoubtedly had more serves than anyone else, I doubt she had close to 40% of them. Somewhere around 20 would be a more accurate number.

I heard during the broadcast that somethign like 13 of the 17 girls on the team are underclassmen.

That makes for a bright future.

[quote=“Skeeza, post:7, topic:2628”]I heard during the broadcast that somethign like 13 of the 17 girls on the team are underclassmen.

That makes for a bright future.[/quote]

Roster Makeup (based on eligibility year):

Seniors: 2 - Kabbes, Shiflett
Juniors: 2 - Carpenter, Racibarskas
Sophs: 6 - Dorton, Longo, Martin, McClendon, Scott, Slay
Frosh: 7 - Denny, Fuller, Gonzalez, Grant, Hancock, Harding, Whitney

I was also at the match, and was so impressed with Micha Hancock – that video interview really captures her confidence. Fwiw, I’ve posted on my blog - DigNittanyVolleyball.com, a handful of photos, as well as a text-to-speech “interview” relating to the person who started the “Boom” cheer after each of her serves. Finally, I included an e-mail I received with some nice feedback on how respectful Penn State fans were to an Oregon fan. I call that segment “Success with Manners.” Here’s the link: http://www.dignittanyvolleyball.com/2011/08/29/monday-rewind-penn-state-womens-volleyball-rec-hall-micha-hancock-dignittanytv-usc-serve-go-boom/

Glad to hear about the Oregon fan’s experience. I’ve become more and more turned off with PSU fan behavior over the last ten years . And, no, it’s not just the ‘drunken college student’ demographic either.