Three from women's volleyball named Preseason All-Big Ten

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three members of the Penn State women's volleyball team have earned Preseason All-Big Ten honors by league coaches, conference officials announced Thursday (Aug. 16). In addition, the Nittany Lions have been selected to finish second in the Big Ten.

Juniors Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.), Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) and Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) all picked up preseason accolades. McClendon was a unanimous selection for the second straight season. It was the first honor for Scott, and the second for both Slay and McClendon.

Nebraska was picked as the conference's preseason favorite. Purdue is slated to finish third, while Minnesota sits in fourth and Illinois in fifth. Ohio State rounded out the poll at sixth.

Penn State is one of eight schools with student-athletes selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten team and one of four schools with multiple student-athletes honored. Overall, 14 student-athletes received a preseason award nod. Penn State and Nebraska led the conference with three selections each. Joining McClendon, Scott and Slay are Illinois' Jennifer Beltran (Jr., L) and Liz McMahon (So., OH), Alexis Mathews (Jr., MB) of Michigan State, Minnesota's Tori Dixon (Jr., MB) and Ashley Wittman (Jr., OH), Nebraska's Lauren Cook (Sr., S), Gina Mancuso (Sr., OH) and Hannah Werth (Sr., OH), Stephanie Holthus (Jr., OH) of Northwestern, Emily Danks (Sr., Opp.) of Ohio State and Purdue's Ariel Turner (Sr., OH).

McClendon returns for her junior season after starting all 33 matches at outside hitter in 2011. The AVCA First Team All-America led the Lions with 432 kills averaging 3.54 kills per set, which ranked 10th in the Big Ten, and was third on the squad in digs with 245. She had double-digit kills in 24 of her 33 matches. McClendon was named to the NCAA Lexington Regional All-Tournament Team and also picked up First Team All-Big Ten laurels.

An AVCA Third Team All-American in 2011, Scott is back for her third season with the Nittany Lions. Scott finished second on the team last year in kills with 418 and averaging 3.54 kills per set with a .260 hitting percentage. Her 3.54 kills per set ranked ninth in the league, while her 4.00 points per set ranked 10th. She posted 143 digs for the season and also tallied 86 blocks. Scott was a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten selection.

The 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Slay was honored as a Preseason All-Big Ten honoree for the second time. Slay started all 33 matches at middle blocker in 2011 and led the team in blocks with 173. Her 1.42 blocks per set led the Big Ten and ranked 13th in the nation. Slay was honored as an AVCA Second Team All-American last season and was also a First Team All-Big Ten pick. An Academic All-Big Ten selection, Slay was third on the team with 257 kills and had a team-best .386 hitting percentage, which ranked second in the conference and 15th nationally.

Penn State opens the 2012 season on Aug. 24-25 at the Active Ankle Challenge hosted by Louisville. The Nittany Lions return home to host the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic on Aug, 31-Sept. 1 at Rec Hall. Penn State faces Stanford at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31.

Single match tickets for Penn State women's volleyball home matches go on sale on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth (12 and under). Group tickets are $5 at the door or $4 if purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center during regular business hours.

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Last Updated August 17, 2012