SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - It's been more than a decade since East Valley won a league title in volleyball, but thanks to Callie Hanson, the Knights might be the team to beat in the GNL.
When East Valley swept perennial powerhouse Pullman, it became clear that the Knights are for real. And in the middle of their sizzling start? It's their setter, Hanson.
"In volleyball, your setter is quarterback," says Knights head coach Darin Wold. "If you want them to be aggressive, you need an aggressive setter. If you want a confident team, you need a confident setter."
Hanson has that confidence. "Well I go for every ball they shank, I set up the perfect hit, the hitter gets the kill and they're like "Yeah!". They remember the kill, and I'm like, 'yeah I set up the kill', but it's okay."Shining Star: East Valley's Callie Hanson
Hanson's selfless attitude carries over to the underclassmen as well, helping them set the tone for the future of the program. "What could be better than the young kids thinking 'I just cannot wait to get out there. Look at what that kids doing. She's willing to come down and work with us, and there's no attitude when she approaches us,'" says Wold.
"When you see someone older than you doing something, it really makes you want to do better and increase your potential," adds Hanson.
The assist machine realizes that if she wants to play at the next level, keeping her grades up needs to be a priority. "So you're pulling a 3.8 yet youre taking some of the most challenging classes in the school? That's impressive," adds Wold.
Perhaps as impressive as the Knights start to the season, which they hope goes deep into the fall. "Think we all really want to go to state this year, this is the year to get it done," says Hanson. "I know for half the team as seniors, that's been our goal since freshman year."
A goal that seems more than reasonable for the top team in the GNL.