This is the first player profile for 2010 and today's interview is with Junior Middle Blocker Carrie Hahn. Before we launch into the Q&A, we begin with a little trivia: Of the traditional uniform numbers worn by the Ladyjacks (1 thru 15), which was the last to appear on court?
The answer is "14" which hasn't appeared on the court for SFA since 2007. Kuddos to you if in addition to knowing that you were aware that the jersey number in question here was worn by Kelsie Heppler. The first time Hahn enters this year she will make the answer to this admittedly numbers-guy question shift to "11" (worn by the incomparable Shelly Swendig).
Carrie isn't new to SFA. She's been high jumping for the SFA Track and Field squad for the last two years. OK, that's a bit of an understatement. She a TWO TIME all SLC performer who finished 2nd in the high jump in last years' outdoor championships. You can see her full SFA track and field bio here.
Last week I sent Carrie a list of questions and our "virtual" conversation is transcribed below.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: What thought process did you go thru in order to decide to formally become a two sport athlete here at SFA and what were the things that ultimately led you to say “Yes, I’ll play Volleyball here , too”?
Carrie: Choosing to be a two sport athlete was not a decision I took lightly; there was a lot of prayer that went into it. I also discussed it a lot with my family and friends. I was able to talk with my two older sisters who both played in college and get their opinion. After a lot of prayer I felt that God had put a great opportunity in front of me, one that I needed to pursue.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: I know that you and setter Allison Gideon know each other pretty well. When did you two became friends and how long have you known each other? Did you play together previously at any level?
Carrie: Allison and I are best friends! We have known each now for five years. We met for the first time at pre-season camp for our high school where I called her “Fishie” since she was the only freshman on varsity (the name actually stuck for two and a half years!). She was my setter for my entire varsity career and I am so excited to play with her again.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: During your time at SFA, have you “kept up” with SFA Volleyball or were you able to attend any matches in the past?
Carrie: Thanks to Allison, I have been able to keep up with the volleyball team and even get to know some of the girls. Allison and Sabrina [Burns] are two of my closest friends at SFA. My roommate (a discus thrower), one of my fellow high jumpers, and I all attend games when school and track aren’t in the way. Sitting in the stands I have actually missed playing a lot. I have loved watching the girls play and couldn’t be more excited to get on the court with them.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: What do you personally see as your biggest challenge coming back to the game after two years of not playing competitively at a high level?
Carrie: I am expecting the game speed to be a big challenge. College ball is so much faster than high school, so I expect that will be a big adjustment.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: As a volleyball player, what do you self-assess as your greatest strength in terms of your skill set?
Carrie: My favorite thing on the volleyball court is running a slide; it proved to be very effective for me throughout my high school and club seasons. As is turns out it mimics a high jump approach so it is one thing that my body should easily remember, especially since I am jumping better now than I was two years ago.
SFAVolleyBlog.net: So, toward that same point...what are the main differences between training to be a high jumper and training to be a middle blocker? What methods of conditioning are unique to one or the other or are they similar in some ways?
Carrie: Volleyball involves much more agility than high jump. That has been the biggest difference in my summer conditioning. In addition to agility, arm and shoulder strength isn’t as important in high jump. Both sports lean heavily on speed, leg strength and plyometrics. On the flip side of things, I believe that playing volleyball this year has the potential to really improve my ability as a high jumper.
Next up here at the blog we'll continue our three part series looking around the league at the head coaches. The 2nd installment will focus on the veterans of the league that are hoping one day to build Southland resumes equal to the Big 3 of Chisum, Gray and Humphreys.
I'd like to personally thank Carrie for being the "first" to answer a few questions as we gear up for the season. I hope each of you enjoyed hearing a little bit from our new middle blocker. I for one am really anxious to see Carrie and the new freshmen begin to mesh with the veterans during fall practices. Practices begin in less than three weeks!
Our next player profile will be Senior Laurel Kuepker. Maybe we'll learn the true origin of the nickname "Lo" and get an explanation as to whether or not there really are dunes in Indiana.
The first serve ticker is down to 37.