Penn State Volleyball

Penn State: Wrestling’s David Taylor, volleyball’s Deja McClendon named athletes of the year

Penn State Athletics on Tuesday named women’s volleyball player Deja McClendon and wrestler David Taylor as its female and male athletes of the year.

McClendon is a four-time AVCA All-American, the fifth in Penn State history. She was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten team in 2013 and was 2010 Big Ten freshman of the year.

She played on two NCAA championship teams, in 2010 and 2013. In four years at Penn State, she totaled 1,631 kills, 1,176 digs, 292 blocks and 62 aces.

Taylor follows teammate Ed Ruth, who won last year’s male athlete honor.

Taylor won the 2014 Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top wrestler and was Big Ten wrestler of the year for a third time. He became Penn State’s first-ever four-time NCAA finalist and won two NCAA individual titles. The Nittany Lions captured four straight NCAA team titles with Taylor in the lineup.

Taylor went 34-0 as a senior and closed out his career with a 134-3 record. His 97.8 career win percentage included 53 pins (ties a school record), 42 technical falls and 30 majors, meaning 125 of his 137 career matches were won by a major or better. Taylor was 56-0 all-time against Big Ten competition.

Both McClendon and Taylor will be on the ballot for Big Ten Athletes of the Year, Penn State said.

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