|Full name||Christa Deanne Harmotto|
October 12, 1986 |
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Spike||326 cm (128 in)|
|Block||309 cm (122 in)|
|Current club||Fenerbahce Grundig|
Christa Deanne Harmotto (born October 12, 1986) is an American indoor volleyball player who plays the middle blocker position. She played college volleyball at Pennsylvania State University team from 2005–2008. In 2009, she joined the U.S. National Team.
At Penn State, she had a .486 hitting percentage on the year, which led the nation. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2007, was nominated for the Honda Award in 2007 and 2008 and is a three-time AVCA All-American. She is playing for Fenerbahce Grundig.
High school and early life
As a high school senior in 2004, she was named the Pennsylvania State Gatorade Player of the Year and was also an All-American. She was a member of the 2004 USA Women's Junior National Team that won the NORCECA Championship in Winnipeg, Canada and was also selected to the 2005 USA Junior National Team that competed in Ankara, Turkey, at the FIVB Under-20 World Championships.
She set a school record 183 blocks in her junior year at Hopewell and in 2004–05 as a senior she set a school record for hitting percentage at .595. She led Hopewell to a No. 1 Pennsylvania ranking and also helped her squad to a 59–0 record against WPIAL opponents. She played club volleyball for Pittsburgh Renaissance that qualified for the Junior Olympics. Harmotto was considered a top 15 recruit for the class of 2005.
Harmotto is a middle hitter and her kills are fast and hard to defend, which is why she had a .492 hitting percentage in 2007 and led the nation in hitting percentage for most of the season in 2008 with a .486 percentage. She is also known as one of the nations top blockers, as she had 200 blocks in 2007 and 166 in 2008.
Harmotto is an education major and was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year in 2008. She has also been named Academic All-Big Ten in 2006, 2007 and 2008. She says her goals after her Penn State career is over is to play internationally and go to the Olympics.
She set the Penn State record for blocks in a four-game match with 13 versus Southern California, and also led the team in blocking with 1.50 blocks per game. She recorded at least six kills in 28 of 29 matches she played in. Harmotto was on her way to becoming a first or second team All-American before she tore her ACL in the last home match of the Big Ten, thereby missing every NCAA match. Despite the season-ending injury, she was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American for her efforts and contributions in the regular season.
Harmotto recovered from her injury, and posted an impressive sophomore campaign. She played in 111 of 114 games that the Nittany Lions played and ranked first on the team in blocks per game (1.58), second on the squad in hitting percentage (.405) and third on the team in kills per game (2.85). Her average of 1.58 blocks per game ranks tied for 10th on Penn State's all-time single-season record list, equaling Terri Zemaitis' 1997 mark. She had a career high 17 kills on .483 hitting in the win versus Minnesota en route to being named the conference player of the week. She helped Penn State to the NCAA Regional Final.
As a junior, Harmotto had one of the most nationally recognized performances of the year. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, was an AVCA First team All-American, was a Honda Award nominee for volleyball as the top player in the country, and was considered a frontrunner for the National Player of the Year.
She played in 121 of Penn State's 122 games of the year and started all 36 matches. She finished the year with 375 kills on .492 hitting percentage, a percentage which ranks among the top five in NCAA history and also ranked first in the conference and second nationally. She had 200 blocks on the year and averaged 1.65 blocks per game, which tied for fifth in the nation and was second on the team. She equaled her career high of 17 kills with no errors to hit .444 against Wisconsin. She helped her squad to a 20–0 Big Ten record and a 34–2 record overall.
In NCAA play and helping her team win the 2007 NCAA National Championship against top seeded Stanford, she was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team after having 14 kills and hitting .435 in the championship match.
Harmotto had an impressive senior year, leading the nation in hitting percentage from Sept. 21 until the end of the season in December. She ended the year with a .486 percentage with 275 total kills. She also had 166 blocks for the season and finished the year third in the nation in blocks per set (1.47). Harmotto repeated as an AVCA First Team All-American and earned her second consecutive Honda Award nomination.
She helped Penn State to their second consecutive 20–0 Big Ten season, without dropping a single set to any teams. In the 2008 NCAA Tournament, she was named to the NCAA University Park Regional All-Tournament Team after helping her team advance to the NCAA Final Four after sweeping Western Michigan and California.
In the National Semifinals against Nebraska, Harmotto had 7 kills and 4 blocks. In the NCAA National Championship against Stanford, Harmotto had 8 kills and 6 blocks to help Penn State to a 38–0 record and claimed their second consecutive NCAA Championship.
Harmotto ended her career with a .433 career hitting percentage – second best in NCAA history.
U.S. National Team
Harmotto was selected to the U.S. National Team roster that traveled to Cairo, Egypt in April 2009. The U.S. team played two matches against the Egypt National Team. In the first match against Egypt, which USA won 3–1, Harmotto had a team high 18 points, including 16 kills with a 64 kill percent and .560 attack efficiency.
In May 2009, Harmotto began to train with the U.S. National Team. She participated in the 2009 Women's Pan-American Volleyball Cup in July, the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix in August and the 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup in Lima, Peru in September. At the Final Four Cup, Harmotto was starter in all five matches. She averaged 0.95 blocks per set, totaled 19 blocks in five matches and was named the tournament's "Best Blocker". She helped Team USA to the gold medal match, where they lost to World No. 1 Brazil in four sets.
US National Team
- Two time Prepvolleyball.com All-American (2004–05)
- Two time Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Athlete of the Week
- Two time Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Athlete of the Week
- Two time first team all-state, all-WPIAL and all-section
- 2005 Mizuno First Team All-American
- 2005 Pennsylvania State Gatorade Player of the Year
- 2005 Prepvolleyball.com National Senior Player of the Year finalist
- 2005 Dapper Dan High School Female Athlete of the Year
- 2005 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Female High School Athlete of the Year
- 2005 Beaver County Times Female Athlete of the Year
- 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Female Athlete of the Year
- 2005 Volleyball Magazine "Fab 50"
- "Fenerbahce Volleyball Official Home Page".
- Wunderley, Ken (2007-12-18). "Hopewell grad, PSU enjoy title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Savrock, Joe (2008-02-15). "Christa Harmotto helps Nittany Lion volleyball team to NCAA title". Penn State Education Department. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Wunderley, Ken (2007-12-21). "Hopewell's Harmotto focuses on winning at PSU". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Brolley, Tom (2007-10-04). "Harmotto reflects on injury". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Brolley, Tom (2007-11-27). "Junior named league Player of the Year". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
- Kauffman, Bill (2009-03-25). "New U.S. Women's volleyball team to tour Egypt". Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- Kauffman, Bill (2009-04-10). "U.S. Women's National Team over Egypt 3–1". USAVolleyball.org. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Harmotto earns Final Four honor
- Benedetti, Valeria (2014-10-12). "Volley, Mondiale: Usa batte Cina 3-1". La Gazzetta dello sport (in Italian) (Milan, Italy). Retrieved 2014-10-12.
- "USA win first World Championship title, China and Brazil complete the podium". Milan, Italy: FIVB. 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
- Christa Harmotto's official bio at USA Volleybal
- Penn State bio
- Harmotto's 2005 FIVB profile for Jr. National Team