The Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame will induct 12 new members during enshrinement ceremonies this past Sunday, October 30 at DiVieste’s Banquet Center, 754 North River Road, N.W., Warren.
The organization’s 19th class includes Brian Beinecke (football), the late George A. Bollas (wrestling), Vanness “Van” Brandon (football), Tony Davis (football), Bill Dreier (contribution to sports, official), Nia Grant (volleyball), Larry Kempe (football, coach), the late Richard Raidel (football), Tom Raphtis (football), Bob Todd (golf, coach), Dan Williams (football, coach) and Mandy Zolciak Willis (basketball).
The lone volleyball honoree in this year’s class, she was a four-year letter winner for the Howland Tigers, graduating in 2011.
Born May 8, 1993, she led the Tigers in kills and blocks as a freshman and the following year as a sophomore, earned the school’s “Outstanding Achievement Award” for volleyball.
During her junior campaign, she was named District I Volleyball “Player of the Year,” team “Most Valuable Player” and picked up Division I, District I First-Team honors.
As a senior, she was named to the Under Armour Watch List and Volleyball Magazine’s ‘Fab 50,’ also earning four letters in track & field.
Upon graduation, she accepted a scholarship to Penn State University where she helped the Nittany Lions to two straight NCAA Division I national championships, those coming in 2013 and 2014.
As a freshman in 2011, she started 32 matches at middle hitter, finished second on the team with 107 total blocks while averaging 0.91 blocks per set. She had at least one block in 30 matches and totaled 151 kills for the season with a .346 hitting percentage, recording at least one kill in 30 matches with three double-digit kill matches.
She had 11 kills in 17 errorless swings and was second on the team with eight blocks in her collegiate debut vs. USC.
In 2012 as a sophomore, she earned Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors, starting all 36 matches at middle hitter. She was second on the team in blocks with 120, averaging 0.97 blocks per set. She had at least one block in 35 of 36 matches and 32 multiple block matches.
She finished fifth on the team in kills (205), averaging 1.65 kills per set with a .376 hitting percentage and had at least one kill in every match with two double-digit kill matches.
As a junior in 2013, she helped PSU to the first of their two consecutive national championships, was selected to the AVCA All-Northeast Region team while earning AVCA All-America honorable mention honors, playing in 35 games whole starting 33.
She finished fifth on the team with 208 kills (1.76 per set) while her .350 hitting percentage ranked second on the team and fifth overall in the Big Ten Conference. She tallied 38 aces, second in on the team.
As a senior in 2014, she helped the team to their second straight national championship with her .458 hitting percentage ranking second nationally and in the conference. She totaled seven kills on 13 errorless swings, adding two aces, two digs and two blocks in her season debut against TCU.
She was an All-Big Ten Conference unanimous selection, a pre-season All-Big Ten pick, the Big Ten “Player of the Week” for September 15 and was named to the Villanova Classic All-Tournament Team.
During her stellar four-year collegiate career in State College, PA., she was a two-time AVCA All-American (First-Team in 2014, Honorable Mention in 2013), was an All-Big Ten Conference pick in 2014 and that same year earned AVCA All-Region honors.
She earned her undergraduate degree in communications and was a three-time Academic (2012-14) All-Big Ten Conference honoree.
She was Penn State University’s recipient of the 2014 Big Ten Medal of Honor, the Big Ten’s most exclusive award that recognizes both academic and athletic excellence.
That same year she was the received Penn State’s Ernest B. McCoy Award, presented annually to one senior female and one senior male student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence.
She finished her career with 484 sets played (10th overall in program history), had 854 kills, a .381 hitting percentage (also 10th overall in program history) with 466 blocks and 189 digs.
In the 2014 national championship title match against Brigham Young University, a 3-0 victory by PSU, she registered nine kills, .500 hitting and four blocks.
After graduation, she played for the USA Volleyball team in South Korea and furthered her professional career in France, playing for Nantes Volleyball.