The Weber State University volleyball team has enjoyed a resurgent season in Big Sky Conference play. They currently sit at 8–3, good for second place in the conference.
One athlete who has helped the Wildcats this season is junior middle blocker Hannah Hill-DeYoung. With hard work, dedication and determination, Hill-DeYoung is now top in the nation in hitting percentage.
WSU head coach Jeremiah Larsen noticed the diligence and commitment by Hill-DeYoung and continues to see improvement. He says she is at a good spot right now but there are always some ways to get better.
“She works hard, she competes,” Larsen said. “The things that she did to be where she’s at right now is pretty impressive because she wasn’t where she’s at right now a year ago.”
Hill-DeYoung has refined her stats over the years. Beginning with her freshman year in 2016, she finished with a .310 in hitting percentage with 12 kills from 29 attacks.
She struggled as a sophomore with a hitting percentage at only .221. Her current hitting percentage stands at a .458 with 136 kills so far on the season, with seven regular-season matches to play.
“(She knows the) value of hard work,” Larsen said. “She’s doing a really good job in what’s in front of her and taking what they give her. She’s resilient.”
The journey has not always been easy for Hill-DeYoung. She tore her ACL during high school and was unsure what her volleyball career looked like.
Hill-DeYoung is using this breakout season as motivation and reminds herself every day that she has a purpose on the team.
“I know that because I worked hard, I’ve practiced so much that I will be able to do the things I need to do,” Hill De-Young said. “I don’t find pressure simply because I can rely on my teammates and know my teammates are going to do their job, and in return, I can do mine.”
Sophomore outside hitter Rylin Roberts has seen the consistency and stability Hill-DeYoung brings to the Wildcats. Roberts defines Hill-DeYoung as a team player and the ability to inspire others.
“I think she is a really good example,” Roberts said. “The things that she does isn’t necessarily in or under the spotlight, but she works hard whether someone is watching or not.”
Coach Larsen and Hill-DeYoung understand there are areas where she can improve, but both are looking toward the positives. With motivation from her teammates and coaches, she has continued to push the Wildcats to victory.