Women's volleyball earns record six All-America honors

Omaha, Neb. — The defending national champion Penn State women's volleyball team (36-0) collected a school-record six AVCA All-America honors, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday (Dec. 17).

Junior setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and junior outside hitter Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) were all named AVCA First Team All-America while sophomore opposite Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) both earned AVCA Second Team All-America honors. The six total honors is also an AVCA record, as no school has ever had six players receive recognition in the same season.

The AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced at the AVCA All-America banquet on Friday, Dec. 19 while the AVCA National Coach of the Year will be announced at the Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 18.

The First Team All-America honor is the third consecutive for both Fawcett and Hodge and the second straight for Harmotto. Glass earns her first career First Team nod as she was a Second Team honoree a year ago, while Brown and Wilson both earn the first All-America recognition of their careers.

The AVCA honors First, Second and Third Team All-America selections, with each team consisting of 14 players per squad, along with recognizing Honorable Mention selections. Penn State is the only school with four First Team AVCA All-America and six overall selections, as Stanford and Texas both had three First Team honorees, Nebraska had one First Team selection and two Second Team honors and Washington had two Second Team and one Third Team honorees.

The six selections bring Penn State's total number of All-America selections to 58 since 1979 and head coach Russ Rose has now coached at least one All-America selection in 29 of his 30 seasons at Penn State.

Fawcett earns her fourth consecutive AVCA All-America honor and her third straight First Team recognition. The 2008 Big Ten Player of the year, Fawcett ranks second on the team with 3.75 kills per game on .380 hitting. She has 24 double-digit kill matches and has led the team in kills 15 times this year. Fawcett currently ranks second all-time on Penn State's career kill list and is fifth in the Big Ten and 21st in the country in hitting percentage (.380) and also leads the squad with 37 service aces. The 2005 AVCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, Fawcett has also posted 194 digs and 81 total blocks for the year.

Glass picks up her first First Team AVCA All-America honor and her second career accolade as she was named a Second Team pick last season. She leads the team, the Big Ten and the nation with 12.50 assists per game and has also directed the Nittany Lion offense to a country-best and current school record .403 team hitting percentage with none of her hitters attacking below a .349 hitting percentage. She has 193 digs for the year and has also added in 108 total blocks, good for third on the team.

Harmotto receives her second straight First Team AVCA All-America honor and the third of her career as she was named a Second Team honoree in 2006, while also picking up Honorable Mention AVCA honors her freshman campaign. The 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year, Harmotto leads the team, the Big Ten and the nation with a .498 hitting percentage while adding in 2.48 kills per game, and also tops the squad and ranks third in the country with 1.49 blocks per game. Earlier this season she was named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year and Harmotto has led the team in blocks 18 times this year, including posting a season-high nine stuffs at Minnesota.

Hodge earns her third consecutive First Team AVCA All-America recognition. The 2006 AVCA National Division I and Big Ten Player of the Year, Hodge leads the team with an average of 4.03 kills per game on .349 hitting while also ranking second on the squad with 216 digs. She has led the team in kills 20 times and currently sits sixth all-time on Penn State's career kill list with 1,543. Earlier this season Hodge was also named an ESPN The Magazine Second Team All-American.

Brown picks up her first career AVCA All-America honor and ranks third on the squad with a .371 hitting percentage while averaging 1.89 kills per game and adding in 87 total blocks. A member of the 2008 NCAA Regional Championship All-Tournament team last weekend, Brown is averaging 2.42 kills per game on a team-high .571 hitting percentage throughout the NCAA Tournament, including 15 kills on .609 in the NCAA Regional Semifinal match against Western Michigan.

Wilson receives her first career AVCA All-America nod after sitting second on the team and in the Big Ten with a .487 hitting percentage. She is averaging 2.22 kills per game and 1.42 blocks per game, which places her third on the team and 13th in the nation. At the NCAA Regional Championship, Wilson averaged 2.50 kills per game on .632 hitting with nine blocks in the wins over Western Michigan and California.

For the complete list of AVCA All-America teams, please click here.

The Nittany Lions will meet No. 2 Stanford for the NCAA title in a rematch of last year's championship match on Saturday (Dec. 20) at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) live on ESPN2.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010