Julianne Hanson

October 18, 2017 07:48 PM

(ABC 6 News) – The Schaeffer Academy Lions volleyball team, and their star senior, have been “killing it” on the court in 2017—and they want more in the postseason.

“Our goal has always been to make it to the Civic Center, which we’ve never played there before,” senior outside hitter Julianne Hanson said. “Our goal is to get there this year.”


Hanson and the Lions have won a school record 17 games on the volleyball court this season, and have earned the no.6 seed in the Section 1A East Subsection playoffs—Hanson gives the Lions reason to be optimistic in the playoffs.

“You always appreciate having a good athlete, as well as a woman of good character,” Lions head volleyball coach Rich Harris said.

Hanson is a tremendous athlete—she owns the school record in the 110-meter hurdles (17.44 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (50.04), and she was also part of the Lions’ 4x200 meter relay (1:54.50) and 4x400 meter relay (4:04.44) record-breaking teams.

“She’s a team leader,” Harris said. “She really plays  with a lot of passion and she’s always looking to make her teammates better.”

Hanson has played varsity volleyball since her freshman year—a year where she says she was “terrified” to be on the floor.

“Everyone else was like ‘yea, put me out there,’ but I’m like ‘no I’m good here,’” Hanson joked. “It’s really been great to grow and now I want to be out there every single second that I can.”

“It’s one of those sports where it takes time to get the hang of it. It’s an amazing sport.”

“Her skills, shot selection, passing, and playing at a high level has been the biggest difference (from her freshman year,” Harris said. “She’s really been able to step up and make plays for us. It’s been fun to see her develop and grow and be a leader for us.”

Hanson has grown in a significant way as a volleyball player—she has been a captain for the Lions the past two seasons, named all-Southeast conference twice (2015-2016), voted team MVP (2015-2016), and is currently the school’s all-time kills leader (841).

“I would say (the key to a kill is) being smart with the ball,” Hanson said. “I’ve had many hits this season where I’ve hit it hard, but there’s been a defender right there to dig it up, so you just have to be smart with it and place it in the corners or some tips and rolls and just mix things up.”

Hanson said what helped her grow as a volleyball player this season was playing year-round club volleyball—she played with the SMD 17-1’s in Rochester.

“It helped me with the technical skills,” Hanson said. “It helped bring my game together very well. I love (volleyball) so much, it just motivates me to get better.”

Including Hanson, the Lions have seven seniors on this year’s volleyball team—but saying goodbye to Hanson won’t be easy following the 2017 season.

“She’s been one of the more decorated players in the history of Schaeffer volleyball,” Harris said. “That’ll be hard (to see her go). To have that big of a loss, we’ll be in a major rebuild, but we’re excited to see how her future goes.”

Hanson’s Lions open section tournament play on Monday, Oct. 23 versus the Lanesboro Burros. The game will be played at Schaeffer Academy (7:00 p.m.).


Sean Tehan

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