Penn State Altoona women’s volleyball wins postseason AMCC awards

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The Penn State Altoona men’s golf team was officially announced as having been selected to compete in the 2023 NCAA Division III Championships on Monday, May 8, when the DIII Men’s Golf Committee released its 43-team tournament field.

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NORTH BOSTON, N.Y. — Five members of the Penn State Altoona women’s volleyball program picked up postseason honors from the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, as the league announced its all-conference team and other postseason awards on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Lions head coach Jamie McGreal was voted the AMCC’s Coach of the Year, and outside hitter Lia Simanski, of Altoona, was selected the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Penn State Altoona also got four student-athletes on the all-conference list, as libero Anna Batrus, of Altoona, was a first-team All-AMCC selection, outside hitter Lacee Barnhart, of Bellefonte, and Simanski were both second-team picks, and middle Makenna Port, of Bellefonte, earned third-team recognition.

McGreal took the reins of the Penn State Altoona women’s volleyball program this season after serving as the team’s assistant coach each of the past two years. Under her guidance, the Lions finished as AMCC regular season champions and went on to win their third-ever conference championship, the team’s first since 2011. Penn State Altoona went 8-1 within the AMCC this fall, recording their most conference wins since the 2016 season. The Lions are now preparing to make their third NCAA postseason appearance later this week, after receiving the conference’s automatic berth by virtue of their AMCC title victory.

Simanski enjoyed an excellent first season for Penn State Altoona while playing in all 26 matches for the Lions. Among all players in the AMCC, the outside hitter ranks seventh in kills per set (2.77), eighth in kills (263) and points (293.0), ninth in points per set (3.1), 10th in digs (328), 12th in digs per set (3.45), 37th in service aces (24), and 38th in hitting percentage (.110).

Batrus took over the role of starting libero for Penn State Altoona and anchored the team’s defense while playing in all 26 matches. She leads the AMCC this season in digs per set (5.55) while being second in total digs (533). Batrus also received the AMCC’s Defensive Player of the Week award a league-high six times throughout the regular season.

Barnhart put together another strong season for Penn State Altoona while appearing in all 26 matches. In the AMCC, she is seventh in digs (398), eighth in digs per set (4.15), 11th in kills per set (2.28), 13th in kills (219) and points per set (2.7), 14th in points (259.5), 27th in service aces (30), 35th in aces per set (0.31), 35th in block assists (15), and 39th in total blocks (18). Barnhart was also named the AMCC Defensive Player of the Week once during the season.

Port provided a strong presence at the net for Penn State Altoona while playing in all 26 matches. In the conference, she ranks third in solo blocks (31), fourth in total blocks (70) and blocks per set (0.74), eighth in block assists (39), 13th in hitting percentage (.205), 21st in points (214.5), 22nd in kills (163), 23rd in points per set (2.3), and 29th in kills per set (1.72).

This is Barnhart’s third consecutive season earning All-AMCC honors, while it is the first time in the collegiate careers of Batrus, Port, and Simanski.

Penn State Altoona women’s volleyball is 16-10 overall this season. The Lions will face No. 1 Juniata College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament regional in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, this Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.