Athlete of the Week: Hannah Robb
October 5, 2016
Hannah Robb had a huge impact on the UWRF volleyball team this weekend at the St. Catherine tournament. The freshman from Medford, Minnesota had a season-high 43 digs against St. Catherine University on Saturday and had 72 digs through three matches this past week.
Her average of 7.2 digs per set was almost three digs higher than her still impressive 3.9 digs average the week before. Robb was also selected as the defensive WIAC player of the week for her performance.
The Student Voice sat down with Robb to discuss her transition to the college game and the early success she has found with the Falcons.
Q: What made you want to play volleyball at River Falls?
A: When I was college searching, I got to meet some of the players before deciding about where I wanted to go to college. They were just really nice and welcoming off the bat, so I just felt like I belonged in the program right away.
Q: How was the transition to the college game after just graduating high school a few months ago?
A: We worked really hard in the preseason which helped me at least personally transition better because the game is a lot faster. You have a lot of bigger swingers you have to defend against that you don’t always get in high school. But in college, everyone’s playing at the competitive level and everyone has really good players. I think the biggest transition I had to make was my confidence in passing and knowing that I was on the team for a reason.
Q: Did being in multiple Minnesota state championship games at Bethlehem Academy prepare you for tough situations in close matches?
A: I think the state championship matches really exposed me to those higher pressure situations where playing together as a team really makes a difference between one point. Those kinds of matches you get really close games and so I think that helped me to prepare to push through adversity in between games and where things may not be going your way.
Q: What contributed to such a high number of digs against St. Catherine?
A: I went in with the mindset that I was gonna pick up everything and I just wanted to leave it all on the court. In the last few games I’d really been overthinking my position and I was really thinking about it too much during the game. I kind of left the thoughts behind and said I’m just gonna play and leave it all on the court. I didn’t even really realize how many digs it was until after the fact. That was really cool to realize that just playing was more successful than overthinking and analyzing.
Q: What’s your job on the team as a libero, and what’s the biggest impact you have at that position?
A: The only difference between the libero and all the other positions is it doesn’t play all the way around. A libero can only play in the back row. They specialize in defense, so you’ll never see me in the front row blocking or swinging. I’m the one who picks up all the hard hits. My job is to be fast and quick and read the game and just to be a consistent passer.
Q: How did you manage to make such an immediate impact on a team with many experienced players?
A: Each player brings a lot to the court and one of the things that I can bring is a lot of energy. Besides being a consistent passer I bring an energy that is needed on the court.
Q: How has the volleyball team responded to the recent struggles after a tremendous start?
A: I think in every season you’re going to have your ups and downs. We started with a really big up and I think that gave us a lot of confidence right away. Now we’re just working to regain that confidence and play together as a team. I think that right now it’s most important to stick together as a team and keep pushing through the hard times. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks because I think we’re on the uphill slope again.
Q: With most of the team’s matches going 3-0 sets either way, what do you think that does for the team not being as experienced in tight games?
A: I think it has a lot to do with experience. I think that when we’re playing really well we tend to dominate but when we’re not playing as well we let it get into our heads and let it affect our other games. As we gain experience in the season, we’ll be able to work through those rough spots and really battle it out when it comes time to.
Q: What needs to improve for the team to finish competitively in the WIAC?
A: We can really continue to be confident. We know we’re a really good team, but sometimes we get into ruts where we don’t always play to the best of our ability because we doubt that we can go out and take down some of the bigger teams that are ranked above us. But I really think we have the ability upset a lot of those teams if we just stick together as a team, especially going into this tougher part of the season.