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We are sitting down for a one-on-one interview with Hannah Allison, a graduating senior at the University of Texas majoring in Health Promotion and a Setter on the Texas Longhorns Volleyball Team. Hannah was a major contributor for being 2012 NCAA Volleyball National Champions, along with taking part in three Final Fours (’10, ’12, ’13).
What made you choose UT? Recruiting process?
I did not grow up being a Texas fan but after visiting the campus I was highly impressed with the athletic facilities as well as the academic resources that UT student-athletes have. Gregory Gym is a great gym to play volleyball at, Austin is a great city to live in and I knew that a degree from the University of Texas carries a lot of weight. Coach Elliott and his staff recruited me harder than any other program. They even came to watch me play a high school volleyball match in Arkansas 2 different times. I was impressed by how much effort they put into getting me at UT.
What is your major – why did you select that field of study?
My major is health promotion and I chose it because I love to work with people and I have always been interested in the health and wellness field. It teaches you how to assess a certain population of people for health disparities and create and implement programs to target those disparities. In the future I hope to go into the field of corporate wellness.
What are your post collegiate plans?
My post collegiate plans are to play professional volleyball overseas and then get my Masters in Public Health and be a corporate wellness director.
Do you strictly play indoor team volleyball? Have you considered playing two on two sand volleyball or getting on a sand volleyball circuit?
There aren’t exactly beaches in Arkansas, so sand volleyball is very unfamiliar to me. I fell in love with indoor volleyball and I cannot see myself switching over.
What sports did you play growing up? Favorites?
My mom played basketball at Baylor so we were a big basketball family growing up. I did gymnastics, played AAU basketball, ran AAU track and played softball as well before falling in love with volleyball and focusing on that.
What does the job of a “Setter” specialist entail?
(Setter is a position in volleyball so you can refer to it as being a setter) A setter is essentially the quarterback in volleyball. I call the offensive plays and set the player I think has the best chance to get a kill on that given play. I also play defense, block, and serve like the other players do. Many times, and in my case I was also the leader on the court. Setting is one of the toughest if not the toughest position because I have to quickly assess the situation and be extremely decisive over and over again. I have an extremely competitive nature and I love setting because it allows me to contact the ball on almost every play and have a large impact on the outcome.
What’s the toughest thing about practice?
The toughest thing about practice is blocking out the “stressors” from being a student-athlete that distract me and being present mentally and emotionally every day.
What is the one thing you do before each game? Superstitions?
I always pray before every game. I don’t put headphones on and listen to music because it distracts me. I’m a big believer in mental preparation, I like to look at the scouting report and visualize the execution of our game plan.
What’s your best team moment?
Sweeping USC at home to advance to the national semifinals in 2012 and feeling that confidence and excitement with my teammates was my favorite team moment. We could feel the momentum for us to win the National Championship in that moment.
What’s your funniest team moment?
In the off-season we had open gym, and after we did some drills we would make goofy Vines or videos about volleyball and our team and play dancing games that would leave us all on the floor from laughing so hard! It helped us get through the tough workouts and early mornings.
HOOK ‘EM HORNS!
Thank you, Hannah Allison!