North Texas Daily

Senior outside hitter finds position on team

Senior outside hitter finds position on team

Senior outside hitter finds position on team
October 08
23:56 2014

Kyle Youmans / Staff Writer

The Mean Green volleyball team is currently 12-6. Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard leads the team in kills while sophomore setter Amy Henard leads the team in assists. But senior outside hitter Hanna Forst has played a role in helping the team get to where it is.

However, Forst struggled through the early parts of the season, and then suffered a high leg injury during the Delta Zeta Classic, which was at Texas State. Even after the rough start to the 2014 campaign, Forst was able to bounce back since the Jayhawk Classic, which was in her home state of Kansas.

“I think what helped was seeing my high school volleyball coach when we were in Kansas,” Forst said. “She was there to support me and told me how happy she is to see me do well, and that has really given me a new confidence that I’ve never had in volleyball before.”

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Senior outside hitter Hanna Forst leaps up to spike the ball during a home game against Rice University on Oct. 1. Photo by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

She was named to the All-Tournament Team after putting together 36 kills in three games and recording a season high .417 hitting percentage against the University of Kansas Jayhawks. Forst grew up near Kansas City where she attended St. James Academy, a volleyball powerhouse which recorded a 44-1 record and a Kansas 4A state championship in the 2010 season.

She then committed to the University of South Carolina, where she played in 72 sets and was among the team leaders in digs before transferring to UNT for the beginning of her sophomore year. The reason behind her transfer was partly due to a coaching change at South Carolina.

Since she has been at UNT, she has gone through another coaching change from Ken Murczek to current head coach Andrew Palileo, and even a switch from the Sun Belt Conference to Conference USA. Even though Palileo wasn’t the coach who recruited Forst, he said he is happy to have her on the team.

“She is able to come in with a whole new perspective after coming over from another school and another program.,” Palileo said. “She has really been able to mentor the younger players and help them with adjusting to become student-athletes.”

Dillard plays the same position that Forst does and said that Forst is a very intelligent player on the team.

“She listens well and we can all trust her to put the team on her back and not be a selfish player. She’s going to go out there every time and give it all that she has,” Dillard said. “We all have that trust and bond as a team to be able to do that and she is definitely a huge part of that.”

Ever since the Jayhawk Classic, Forst has been one of the most consistent and reliable attackers on the team, averaging three kills per set. Even with the overwhelming presence of Dillard and Henard, Forst has quietly made her way among the elite players for the Mean Green by proving herself with consistent and well-rounded game play.

“The past few weeks have really lifted my spirits,” Forst said. “Sometimes it is tough playing behind Carnae [Dillard] and I have started to accept the fact that I am a completely different player than she is, and I am becoming comfortable being the player that I am, and playing to the best of my ability.”

Featured Image: Hanna Forst spikes the ball during the match against Abilene Christian University on Sept. 12. Photo by Caitlyn Jones – Features Editor

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