Micha Hancock and Megan Courtney — two of the most legendary Nittany Lions to ever take the court in Rec Hall — are among 19 volleyball players invited to compete for a U.S. Women’s National Team roster spot ahead of this summer’s 2016 Pan American Cup.
— PennStateVolleyball (@PennStateVBALL) May 11, 2016
Penn State matches Stanford and Florida for the most representatives invited with two apiece. Hancock and Courtney led the Nittany Lions to back-to-back National Championships in 2013-14, with each being named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in consecutive years.
Hancock finished her sterling Penn State career with a laundry list of national honors, as the Edmond, Okla., native was a three-time AVCA First-Team All-American and the first Nittany Lion to be awarded AVCA Division I Player of the Year (2014) since Nicole Fawcett and Megan Hodge swept the honor in 2008-09. She left Happy Valley in fifth place on the all-time assists list with 5,578 and passed Ellen Hensler in 2013 for the most aces in program history, as a junior, going on to record a ridiculous 380 (145 more than Hensler).
The high-flying, rocket-launching Hancock is an absolute nightmare for opposing teams at the service line, but she’ll bring another supremely talented Big Ten setter — Wisconsin senior Lauren Carlini — under her wing during training in Anaheim. A two-time ESPY-nominated athlete, Hancock has professional experience playing overseas in Italy.
Courtney, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, is one of only eight Nittany Lions to join both the 1,000 kills and digs club, with Deja McClendon previously being the most recent to accomplish the feat. The 2015 AVCA Second-Team All-American and 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year is currently playing professional volleyball in Puerto Rico.
Penn State alumnae Alisha Glass, Megan Easy, Christa Dietzen, and Nicole Fawcett recently donned the red, white, and blue in the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, giving Russ Rose and the Nittany Lions the most representatives on the 14-woman team.
Since Team USA and primary head coach Karch Kiraly will also be competing in the second preliminary round of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif., June 17-19, a younger squad composed of college players and recent graduates will head to the Dominican Republic for the Pan Am Cup, which will be held June 30-July 11. Pitt head coach Dan Fisher, who Kiraly tapped to lead this bunch of rising U.S. stars, will announce his final roster for the Pan American Cup in late June.
Congratulations to Micha and Megan! The Penn State community will be rooting for you every step of the way. Go get ’em.