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Killer instincts

July 7, 2008

Killer instincts

To say the PLU volleyball team had a good fall 2007 season would be an understatement. For starters, they only lost three regular season games. In Northwest Conference play, they went 16-0.

Part of that reason is Beth Hanna. The five-foot-11-inch outside hitter from Clackamas, Ore., made a major impact on the volleyball program – burn marks on the gymnasium floor type impact.

As a first-year student, Hanna obliter­ated the 12-year school record for kills per game, setting a new mark at 5.34 – fourth best in the nation. She was named conference player of the year and voted by DIII coaches as freshman player of the year. She is PLU’s only NCAA first-team All- American in volleyball.

“I knew she was going to be good, because she is good,” said head coach Kevin Aoki, himself a four-time con­ference coach of the year. “But she definitely exceeded expectations.”

Why? “She does all the skills well,” says Aoki. “And she’s a humble player. That’s important – team chemistry is an important part of our game.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Hanna is tall, gifted and can really beat the snot out of the ball.

As the Lutes look to defend their per­fect conference season, they will be doing so without three of last year’s senior leaders. Hanna clearly will be expected to step up. And there is no reason to think she won’t deliver – she did all last season.

“The experience was better than any­thing I could have hoped for – volley­ball and just life as a whole,” Hanna said. “I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. It was more than the wins and losses – it was the people here, the family we had.”

That family is looking forward to another killer season.