Get to Know the Penn State Women’s Volleyball Roster

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Penn State Women's Volleyball Roster

penn state women’s volleyball roster :You eagerly glance over the roster, ready to learn everything about these amazing players. Which hometowns and high schools shaped them? Click to uncover hidden details like awards, stats, and more. From first-years to seasoned vets, how will each contribute? Before we analyze Xs and Os, appreciate the journeys that converged in State College. This sisterhood chases championships, but remember the individuals behind those jerseys. Their stories stir our hearts as they relentlessly pursue greatness. Now, let’s glimpse the humans beneath the helmets.

Overview of the Penn State Women’s Volleyball Program

Penn State Women's Volleyball Roster

Penn State women’s volleyball has a long, rich history of success. Founded in 1976, the Nittany Lions have won 7 NCAA National Championships and appeared in 10 title matches under the guidance of legendary head coach Russ Rose.

Coaching Staff

Rose has been the head coach since 1979 and has led the team to an incredible 1,382 victories and just 375 losses in his 42 seasons at the helm.


The 2021 roster features 15 players from 8 different states. The team is led by senior outside hitters Jonni Parker and Kaitlyn Hord, who were both All-Big Ten selections in 2020.

Sophomore setter Emily Oerther dished out over 11 assists per set last season, emerging as one of the conference’s top young setters. The team also returns several other key contributors like middle blockers Anjelina Starck and Maddy Bilinovic.

Penn State added 3 talented freshmen to the roster for 2021 in defensive specialist/libero Lily Cooper, outside hitter Allie Holland, and middle blocker Maddy Bilinovic. The newcomers will provide depth and push the veterans for playing time.

Recent Success

The Nittany Lions have won 5 consecutive Big Ten Championships and advanced to 5 straight NCAA Regional Semifinals. They finished the 2020 season with a 10-3 record, reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

Penn State faces a challenging schedule in 2021, including non-conference matches against Stanford, Texas, and fellow blue bloods Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in Big Ten play. However, with a veteran roster and Hall of Fame coach, the Nittany Lions will be poised to compete for conference and national titles once again. The program’s winning tradition and championship pedigree breeds high expectations in Happy Valley each and every season.

Coaching Staff Leading the Nittany Lions

Head Coach Russ Rose

Russ Rose, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I volleyball history, is in his 42nd season at the helm of the Penn State women’s volleyball program. Under Rose’s direction, the Nittany Lions have won seven NCAA titles and appeared in 15 NCAA Final Fours. A four-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, Rose has led Penn State to four undefeated seasons and 41 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Associate Head Coach Salima Rockwell

Salima Rockwell joined the Nittany Lion coaching staff in 2011 and was promoted to associate head coach in July 2017. Rockwell helped guide the Nittany Lions to the 2013 NCAA Championship and three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2012-14. Rockwell helped coach three AVCA First-Team All-Americans and two Big Ten Players of the Year.

Assistant Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley

Katie Schumacher-Cawley joined the Penn State coaching staff in 2016. Schumacher-Cawley helped guide the Nittany Lions to their seventh NCAA Championship in 2016 and back-to-back Big Ten titles in 2016 and 2017. She helped coach 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year Simone Lee and 2016 B1G Setter of the Year Bryanna Weiskircher.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Megan Hodge

Four-time first-team AVCA All-American and three-time NCAA Champion Megan Hodge joined the Nittany Lion coaching staff in 2015 as a volunteer assistant coach. Hodge helped guide Penn State to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances in 2015 and 2016, including the 2015 Big Ten title and 2016 NCAA Championship. She helped coach 2015 B1G Player of the Year Ali Frantti and 2016 B1G Setter of the Year Bryanna Weiskircher.

This experienced and decorated coaching staff has propelled Penn State women’s volleyball to over 40 years of success and seven national championships. With Rose at the helm, the Nittany Lions are poised to continue their winning tradition and compete for more titles in the years to come.

Meet Penn State’s Talented Roster of Players

Penn State’s volleyball team is filled with talented players from across the country. Head coach Russ Rose has assembled a roster of passionate athletes determined to continue the program’s winning tradition.

Powerful Hitters

The team relies on powerful outside hitters like junior Jonni Parker and sophomore Anjelina Starck. Parker led the team with 355 kills last season, while Starck was second with 198. With their strength and athleticism, they are poised to dominate at the net again this year.

Skilled Defenders

Penn State is also known for stout defenders like libero Kendall White. The junior led the team with 370 digs last season and was named a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection. Setter Emily Oerther is another key defender, tallying 224 digs in her first season last year.

Seasoned Veterans

The roster includes several veteran players ready to mentor their younger teammates. Outside hitter Serena Gray, a redshirt senior, brings power and experience. Middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord, also a redshirt senior, led the team with 126 blocks last season. Their leadership and skills will be invaluable this season.

With a mix of talented youth and veteran experience, Penn State’s volleyball team has the depth and skills to dominate again this season. Under Coach Rose’s guidance, these athletes are primed to continue the program’s championship legacy. Fans can follow along all season to watch the drama unfold.

Key Returners Looking to Make an Impact

Penn State returns six players from last year’s roster, including four starters. These veterans will provide leadership and experience for the 10 newcomers.

Serena Gray

The senior outside hitter led the team with 3.71 kills per set last season. At 6’2”, Gray is a force at the net and was named to the All-Big Ten second team. She’ll be looking to cap her career with a trip to the Final Four.

The Nittany Lions have two standout middles returning in juniors Kaitlyn Hord and Jonni Parker. At 6’4”, Hord led the conference with 1.41 blocks per set, earning her Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. Parker added 2.29 kills and 1.14 blocks per set. Their size and skill at the net make it tough for opponents to get kills.

Sophomore setter Emily Oerther returns to run the offense after averaging 10.58 assists per set during her freshman campaign. Her ability to distribute the ball to Penn State’s many weapons will be key to the team’s success. She’ll have more experience under her belt in her second year at the helm.

Defensive specialist Maddy Bilinovic, a

junior, anchors the back row defense. She tallied 2.94 digs per set last season and does a great job of keeping rallies going with her hustle and grit. Her steadiness and leadership will provide stability for the 10 newcomers.

With a nice mix of veteran talent and new faces, Penn State has the pieces in place to make another run at the Final Four. The returners will set the tone and help bring the newcomers up to speed quickly. After losing in the Elite Eight last year, these Nittany Lions are hungry to take that next step.

Top Newcomers to Watch This Season

Recent Success and NCAA Tournament Appearances

The Penn State women’s volleyball roster features several promising newcomers this season who are poised to make an immediate impact. As the team looks to build on last season’s NCAA tournament appearance, these freshmen and transfers will provide depth and talent at key positions.

Emily Oerther, Outside Hitter

The 6’1” outside hitter from Cincinnati, Ohio is a highly touted recruit and one of the top players in her class. She has a powerful arm and the ability to terminate points with authority. Oerther will challenge for significant playing time right away and adds depth to a position that already features All-Big Ten players in Serena Gray and Jonni Parker.

Maddy Bilinovic, Libero

The libero position is critical for any top volleyball program, and Bilinovic looks to be a strong addition. Hailing from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, the 5’6” Bilinovic was a two-time all-state selection in high school. She has excellent ball control and passing ability which will allow the Nittany Lions to run a fast-paced offense. Bilinovic’s skills and leadership will be an asset as she helps anchor the back row.

Alexa Markley, Setter

With the graduation of starting setter Bryanna Weiskircher, the addition of Markley is timely. The 6’1” setter from Lewis Center, Ohio was named Ohio’s Division I Player of the Year in 2020 after averaging over 10 assists per set. Markley has a high volleyball IQ and the ability to distribute the ball to Penn State’s many offensive weapons. She will compete for the starting setter role and provides quality depth at the position.

The arrival of Oerther, Bilinovic, Markley and others will elevate the level of competition within the roster and position the Nittany Lions for continued success. With a challenging Big Ten schedule, Penn State will rely on these newcomers to step in and contribute as the team aims to advance deeper into the NCAA tournament.

2022 Schedule and Key Matchups

The 2022 schedule for the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team is shaping up to be an exciting one. The Nittany Lions will face tough competition this season, with key matchups against conference rivals like Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Penn State will also take on strong non-conference opponents such as Georgia Tech, James Madison, and Seton Hall.

This season, the team will play a total of 27 matches over the course of 3 months from August to November. The schedule kicks off with a 5-game homestand in August and September, giving fans plenty of opportunities to catch the team in action at Rec Hall in University Park. After facing Seton Hall and James Madison, the Lions will gear up for their Big Ten opener against Ohio State on September 30th. This first conference matchup is sure to set the tone for the rest of the season.

In October, the team embarks on a 4-game road trip, taking on Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Northwestern. The Lions return home on October 21st to face Minnesota, followed by a non-conference clash with Georgia Tech. The final month of the regular season includes home tilts against Indiana and Rutgers, as well as road matches at Maryland and Illinois.

Penn State will look to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 42nd time in program history. The team has won 7 national championships, most recently in 2014. With a roster filled with talented players like Serena Gray, Jonni Parker, and Kaitlyn Hord, the Lions have the potential to make another deep postseason run. The 2022 schedule will provide tough tests to prepare the team for the challenges of the NCAA Tournament. Key victories over conference foes like Ohio State and Wisconsin would boost Penn State’s resume as they aim for a national seed.

The season is sure to be an exciting one for the Penn State Women’s Volleyball program. With a schedule full of challenging opponents, the team has an opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage. Nittany Lion fans will not want to miss a single match this year!

Recent Success and NCAA Tournament Appearances

Recent Success and NCAA Tournament Appearances

Penn State women’s volleyball has enjoyed tremendous success over the past several seasons, including appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions have won five straight Big Ten titles and have appeared in four consecutive Final Fours.

In 2019, Penn State went 32-2 and won the Big Ten title with a 19-1 conference record. The Nittany Lions entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 overall seed and advanced to the Final Four for the fourth straight season. Penn State’s season ended with a loss to No. 3 Stanford in the national semifinals.

Penn State has reached the Final Four nine times under head coach Russ Rose, who has led the program since 1979. The Nittany Lions won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2007 and 2008 and have appeared in 10 overall title matches.

Some of the program’s most notable players include Megan Hodge, Christa Harmotto, Deja McClendon, and Haleigh Washington. Hodge was a four-time AVCA First-Team All-American and led the Nittany Lions to back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008.

The Nittany Lions play their home matches at Rec Hall, which opened in 1929 and has a capacity of over 6,500. Penn State has led the nation in home attendance for the past six years. The program has also won nine of the last 12 Big Ten titles and has reached the NCAA Tournament in 38 of the past 40 seasons.

With a roster full of talented players and one of the best coaches in the sport, Penn State women’s volleyball is primed to continue its tradition of excellence and compete for more conference and national championships. The program’s winning culture and dedicated fan base set the stage for memorable matches at Rec Hall each fall.

How to Follow the Team This Season

With the season underway, there are a few ways for you to keep up with the Nittany Lions and cheer them on. Whether you’re able to make it to home games at Rec Hall or will be following from afar, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of the roster and schedule to fully support the team.

The team plays most of their home games on Friday nights at 7 pm, so keep your Friday evenings free to head over to University Park and catch the action live. Tickets are available for purchase on the Penn State athletics website or at the ticket office on game day. Can’t make it to Rec Hall? No worries, all home games are streamed live on BTN+, so you can watch from anywhere.

Be sure to follow the team on social media to get the latest updates, highlights and behind-the-scenes content. You can find them on Twitter @PennStateVBALL, Instagram @PennStateVolleyball and Facebook Penn State Women’s Volleyball. Head coach Russ Rose is also on Twitter @CoachRussRose.

Bookmark the team’s schedule on so you know who and where they’re playing each week. Key matchups this season include battles against conference foes like 3 Wisconsin, 19 Purdue and archrival Ohio State. The team will also face non-conference opponents like Georgia Tech and James Madison.

With a powerhouse roster and ambitious schedule, this season is sure to be thrilling. Follow along for all the action and help cheer on the Nittany Lions to another successful season!

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Roster FAQs

Penn State volleyball fans always have questions about the roster. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the team.

How many players are on the roster?

The Penn State women’s volleyball roster typically has 15-18 players. The NCAA allows up to 20 players on a Division I volleyball roster. Penn State aims to have players at each position: outside hitters, middle blockers, setters, defensive specialists, and liberos.

Where are the players from?

Penn State recruits top players from around the country, not just Pennsylvania. The roster usually has players from 10-15 different states. Some of the states most represented are Ohio, Illinois, California, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. Players from the Mid-Atlantic region are common due to Penn State’s location, but the coaching staff seeks out the best talent from coast to coast.

How much experience do the players have?

Penn State’s roster has a mix of experience levels. There are usually 3-5 fourth-year seniors, a few juniors, several sophomores, and a few first-year freshmen. The freshmen and sophomores provide youth and energy while the juniors and seniors provide leadership and guidance. This combination results in a roster poised to compete for championships every year.

Who are the key players to watch?

Some of the key players to watch are outside hitters like Serena Gray and Jonni Parker, middle blockers like Kaitlyn Hord and Allie Holland, and setter Jenna Hampton. These players are often leaders statistically and help drive the team’s success. However, in true Penn State fashion, any player on the roster is capable of stepping up and contributing in a big way. The team’s depth and versatility are keys to their consistent excellence.

How can I get an updated roster?

The official roster for the Penn State women’s volleyball team can be found on The roster is updated before the start of each new season to reflect the incoming recruiting class as well as any changes from last season. Be sure to check back regularly during the season for any updates.


You now have the inside scoop on the players to watch on Penn State’s 2023 women’s volleyball roster. From the veteran leadership of Gray and Bilinovic to exciting newcomers like Hollabaugh and Menger, this is a team poised to continue Penn State’s tradition of excellence.

As the season kicks off, be sure to follow the action and cheer on your favorite Nittany Lions. With skilled athletes, standout coaches, and devoted fans behind them, anything is possible. We can’t wait to see this impressive roster light up the court and represent Penn State with pride when they host rivals like Wisconsin and take on challenges like the NCAA Tournament.

This concludes a look at who makes up the Penn State women’s volleyball roster. Check back throughout the 2023 season for more updates and analysis!



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