Athlete of the Week: South Anchorage volleyball’s Hanna Henrie

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 9:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Hanna Henrie was recently named Gatorade Player of the Year to add to her long list of high school volleyball accolades, which includes two state titles and an honorable mention all-American selection.

Henrie has been playing volleyball at the varsity level since she was a sophomore at South Anchorage High School but her volleyball career started far before that.

“Competitively I started playing in fifth grade I think, but me and my dad would, we’d pepper, so just kind of pass it back and forth in our front lawn with a volleyball, I don’t even remember how long,” she said.

All of that practice has helped her become the player she is today, in the 2021 season she had nearly 700 kills, a .414 kill percentage, and helped the South Wolverines climb up the losers bracket to with the state championship. Even though she is the one who is putting up the eye popping numbers and hitting the spellbinding spikes she knows that she wouldn’t be able to do it alone.

“I have to give like, so much credit for everything that I’ve done to my team, my family. I mean, all of my mom’s siblings live here and they’re at every single game that they possibly can. All my friends from like church, school — they’re always there supporting me, and then my team. I mean they have my back over everything like, on and off the court” Henrie said.

Her family support evident to everyone that has been around her as she has made this journey through her volleyball life.

“Let’s just put it this way. When kids play volleyball, they step in tryout, you get a good sense of the family just based on the kid’s demeanor on the court. Hanna comes in with a lot of confidence and really that’s attributed to her family structure,” said Brad Houser, Henrie’s comp team head coach.

Winning Gatorade Player of the Year was very special for Henrie because it was one of her goals. Henrie said that on the first day of high school practice in her freshman year, her coach asked her what her individual goals were.

“I want to be Gatorade Player of the Year,” she responded.

Henrie accomplished has already won state titles, and now she can say she’s achieved her other goal.

“I didn’t check my email because I thought they were going to announce it on the 13th instead of the 11th. So I got a text from Morgan Hooe, who coaches over at Midnight Sun. She’s like ‘congrats on Gatorade Player of the Year, welcome to the club,’ Henrie said with a big smile on her face. “... And I was like, what? Like really? I just remember sitting there I was like, shut up, like actually? And then I checked my email and I was like oh my gosh, that actually happened.”

Throughout the interview Henrie made one thing clear, that she couldn’t have done any of this without the help of her family saying.

“They have supported me through losing and winning and they are just my biggest supports and I wouldn’t be here without them pushing me and knowing exactly what to say when I lose for some reason and knowing exactly what to say when I succeed and I owe it all to them” Henrie said.

That type of family support is going to follow her wherever she decides to go, when she decides where she is going to go to college in the coming months.

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