Q: As a two-time 5A State MVP in Arkansas, what factors would you say contributed most to your success?
Allison: “I believe that two of the main factors that contributed to my success were humility and competitiveness. Humility was what helped me continue to improve my game each day, regardless of the score or the team we were playing. Competitiveness kept me motivated to help my team win and push myself and my teammates in practice throughout the season.”
Q: You were a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school. How did you deal with the pressure of having so many colleges recruiting you?
Allison: “Being recruited was a stressful and exciting experience. Although it was stressful to play in front of college coaches, I knew I had to perform well if I wanted to play for a great program. My motivation to succeed at the next level helped me be focused and not distracted by stress.”
Q: We have several girls playing on Upward Stars’ teams that would love to one day play in college. What tips and advice would you give them on achieving that goal?
Allison: “If you want to play for certain schools, don't be shy! Let the coaches know that you are interested in playing for their school. Send emails and highlight/skill videos to schools in your area and schools you are considering.”
Q: What were the big differences you noticed in playing in high school to transitioning to playing in college?
Allison: “The speed of the game really changes in college sports. There are higher expectations put on you academically and athletically, but it’s a lot of fun and worth the hard work!”
Q: You had 35 assists and 5 blocks in the 2012 National Championship match vs. Oregon. What contributed to your success at such a high level, helping your team win the national title?
Allison: “We treated the National Championship like any other match. We had a scouting report and a game tactic that we stuck to and it really worked for us! I tried to have a calm demeanor to help my teammates stay calm and play their game.”
Q: What is the experience like now as you play professionally in Sweden?
Allison: “My experience is much different now that volleyball is my JOB. How cool! All of my focus is on preparing, practicing, and playing matches. It is much different to focus solely on volleyball without being in school at the same time.”
Q: What helps you stay grounded through all the success you’ve experienced playing volleyball?
Allison: “I believe that I haven't learned everything there is to know about volleyball. No one should feel that they have nothing else to learn or improve on in their sport. Always be open to feedback and don't limit yourself!”
Q: What Bible verse has impacted you the most throughout your life?
Allison: “The Bible verse that has impacted me the most throughout my life is Romans 5:1-5:
‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’
This verse has helped me in many ways, but in my career it has changed the way I handle adversity. I don't approach adversity as a burden to carry but a tool to use for improvement and encouragement.”
Hannah Allison is a setter for EVS Volleyball in Sweden. Before beginning her professional career, she was a member of the Texas Longhorns volleyball team, winning a national title there in 2012. She was a 5-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. She was a top ten national recruit coming out of Siloam Springs High School in Arkansas where she helped to win 4 straight state titles. There she was twice named the 5A State Player of the Year. Hannah also played on the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team in 2011. You can follow Hannah on Twitter: @The_HannahB