Women's volleyball lands six on AVCA All-America teams

December 14, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State women's volleyball team saw six student-athletes named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America teams on Thursday, Dec. 14, as seniors Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington led the way with first-team honors, while sophomore Kendall White earned second-team honors. Ali Frantt, Heidi Thelen and Abby Detering were named to the honorable mention All-American list, as announced by the organization's office.  

This marks Washington's third selection to the first team All-America and Lee's second such honor. Frantti earns her third All-America honor after earning first team in 2014 and honorable mention in 2015.

This marks the first career All-America honors for Thelen, White and Detering. White is the first libero to earn All-America status for Penn State since 2005 when Kaleena Walters earned a place on the honorable mention team.

The selection of six student-athletes ties a program record that was set in the 2008 season. This season Stanford and Texas joined the Nittany Lions with six selections.

Lee, who was the 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year and the 2017 University Park Regional Most Outstanding Player, is averaging a team-best 3.90 kills per set this season while tallying a career-best average of 2.27 digs per set. She also increased her hitting percentage this season to an impressive .320, the first plus-.300 season of her career. She tallied 10 double-doubles in her senior campaign, and put down double-digit kills in 29 of the Nittany Lions' 34 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, is leading the nation with a .503 hitting percentage, while putting down 3.03 kills per set on the season. Defensively, Washington has averaged 1.52 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 22 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. She also added a 10-block performance in the sweep of Michigan State in the regional final.

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 first, second or third teams. White is averaging a team-best 3.78 digs per set while dishing out 22 aces on the year, and adding 77 assists. The libero finished the season with a 96.7-percent success rating in her 519 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 11.69 kills per set average.

Thelen, a 2017 All-Big Ten honorable mention honoree, has improved her hitting percentage to a career-best .371 on the season while putting down 1.70 kills per set on the right side. She also has added 0.95 blocks per set this year.

Frantti has put down 2.50 kills per set this year while adding 1.80 digs and 0.56 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 her first career triple-double in Penn State's 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 5.82 assists per set, and a career-best 1.31 kills per set. She also adds 1.83 digs per set and .65 blocks per set to her stat line. She has dished out a team-high 34 aces this season.

These six Nittany Lions and their teammates will take on Big Ten co-champion Nebraska at 7 p.m. ET Thursday (Dec. 14) in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, in the first NCAA semifinal on Thursday evening.

Last Updated December 15, 2017