The numbers are good enough to put Amanda Hansen in Seton Hall’s top-10 in career kills and attacks as well as the top-three in career blocks. Throughout her four years in South Orange, the senior has racked up 1,043 kills, 2,499 attacks and 466 blocks.
And those stats are still growing.
But an easygoing personality and a smile from ear-to-ear is what makes Hansen stand out off the court, too.
The 6-foot-2-inch senior on the Seton Hall volleyball team from Pewaukee, Wis., is hardworking and knows the job she has to do as the team’s middle blocker. She also knows that every once in a while, the team needs to have fun.
“Amanda is goofy, she is really goofy,” head coach Allie Yaeger said. “She is always loose and has a smile on her face. You can always count on her to lift the team up when they need it.”
Some of that looseness comes from Hansen’s pregame routine, which sometimes consists of getting a cup of coffee to “get hyped,” but none of it is done out of superstition, she says.
“Some of the other girls on the team are very superstitious, but I am not. I will get a cup of coffee with the other girls sometimes because the caffeine really helps us,” Hansen said with a laugh.
After three seasons under the guidance of Stacey and Shelbey Manthorpe, Hansen took on a new role and became a leader for a young volleyball squad this year. For a young team, an easygoing personality and a remarkable ability to put the ball away at the net makes Hansen well-liked, according to Yaeger.
“She’s a good volleyball player. With all of the different things she brings to the floor, everybody looks up to her and they look to her to put a ball away,” the coach said. “Just as I get excited for her to come onto the court, so does the rest of the team.”
After a critical point in a match, whether it is a point for the Pirates or their opponent, you might see a laugh escape some of the players in a huddle on the court. That is Hansen doing what leaders do, keeping everyone in the game and taking the pressure off the rest of the team.
“I kind of have to lead the team. I make sure we are in the right defenses for blocking,” Hansen said. “I also try and talk to everyone on the court to make sure we have good passes and we have good sets and we are blocking well to make sure everything is going in order.”
Facing tough teams like Creighton and Marquette can be difficult, but the tougher teams actually motivate Hansen more when she steps on to the court.
“I just want to be better than the other team on the other side,” Hansen said. “For things that I can control, I focus on being better than the other middler [blocker].”
On Oct. 17, Hansen reached a milestone. She hit a career number that just eight other Pirates have in SHU history. Hansen reached the 1,000th kill of her career.
“It was a milestone, and when you think about it, that is not just attacks but it is a lot of swings,” Hansen said. “It is a big accomplishment and I am proud of it because it takes a lot of work to get there.”
With Hansen set to graduate following the season, the Pirates will look for someone new to lead with personality and on the stat sheet.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin.