New Girls on the Digs

New Girls on the Digs

After the 2013-2014 Penn State bid farewell to its former queen of the defense, Dominique Gonzalez, and its near unstoppable setter Micha Hancock. Gonzalez left collegiate volleyball ranked No. 11 in the Big Ten for average digs per set and Hancock left ranked No. 1 in the league for aces and paced the 2014 team to the nation’s highest hitting percentage.

They left some pretty big shoes to fill.

Gonzalez’ successor, freshman Keeton Holcomb and new setter redshirt freshman Bryanna Weiskircher have made a few heads turn in these first few weeks of the new season. Holcomb, the Bellville, Texas native, made her first debut as a Nittany Lion during the opening match of the season against Buffalo. In this match, she had her first double-digit performance right off the bat with 10 digs. Weiskircher, Rockford, Ill. native, also appeared in this match starting her college career with 18 assists.

In high school, Holcomb was a four-year letterman and 2014 team captain at Bellville High School. She earned AAA First Team All-State honors in 2013-14 and first team All-District honors in 2014.

Holcomb fell into the background a bit in tournament play early in the season letting senior Megan Courtney and Weiskircher take charge of the defense. She wasn’t very consistent during the tournaments, one game clocking a team-high 20 digs and the next barely making it on the board with three.

It’s not a surprise to see a bit of inconsistency in the freshman on the court, though. While she struggles to keep her dig totals high, she helps the team at the service line with a few aces here and there.

Weiskircher was a three-year captain and three-time MVP at Boylan Catholic High School. She also received NIC 10 All-Conference MVP honors her sophomore, junior and senior year.

While her assist numbers continue to skyrocket, Weiskircher and Holcomb work as a team on defense. When Holcomb has an off game defensively, Weiskircher has her back and vice versa.

Holcomb and Weiskircher are following in the footsteps of two phenomenal Penn State athletes, but they have an experienced and unstoppable team behind them. The more in sync they become with their teammates, the more their numbers will rise.