For The Tribune
For a volleyball player, one of the biggest individual highs you can achieve is getting a kill on an attack.
Seymour’s Hannah Sipe said she gets a lot of pride and enjoyment knowing she had a hand in teammates’ kills, acting as the Owls’ setter.
She played junior varsity and a little varsity her first two years at Seymour and has been the Owls’ setter the past two years.
“I’ve always set, but my first two years if I played varsity it was mostly back row, but for JV I set,” Sipe said. “I enjoy it a lot because it makes me feel good when the hitters get a kill, and I could provide that ball for them. It’s just really exciting to see our hitters get a kill after I set them that ball.
“It all starts with a pass, but to know I provided them that ball to put the ball away is a good feeling.”
Sipe said communication is really important in success.
“Communication is the biggest key to volleyball,” she said. “The second you stop communicating is when it all gets out of control. Communication and ball control is two of the biggest things in volleyball. If you have neither of them you can’t be successful.”
A lot of play develops from the back forward, according to Sipe.
“Every single person on the court is always talking to the back row,” Sipe said. “The middle back can see the whole court so a lot of times we try to get the middle back to talk the most. When they see there is a hole in the block they say ‘we’ve got to move in, there’s a hole in the block,’ or if we say the set is outside everybody has to shift over because they can’t hit outside of the antenna or that would be out of play.”
Sipe said everyone has to be alerted when the opponent changes the number of hitters or blockers.
On the court, Sipe uses both verbal and hand signals.
She said she tries to avoid digging in the back row so she can make her sets.
“Most teams try to hit to the setter to keep the team out of system, so a lot of teams will try to hit to me to keep our core out of system,” Sipe said. “A lot of the time we work on another person taking the second ball, when I take the first ball. A lot of times in practice we work these out of system balls so we can be effective even if I do that the first ball.”
She played in elementary, middle and high school, and began playing club ball in fifth grade.
Sipe played club ball with Union, from New Albany, for five years and her teammates for most of those years included the other three seniors on the Seymour team.
“(Playing club ball) helped me a lot because I built a lot of friendships and relationships with people that I didn’t know from different areas,” Sipe said. “It helped me see a lot of different volleyball over the years, like different competition, different types of players. It was just a great experience.”
For the Owls, practice makes perfect.
“Practice is very important, we work really hard in practice because we know that if we don’t work hard in practice we won’t end up working hard in games,” Sipe said. “The famous quote ‘you practice like you play’ or ‘you play like you practice’ is very true.
This season, she has acted as a captain.
“You have a lot of responsibility,” Sipe said of the role. “Everyone always has a lot of responsibilities on the court. As captains, we always have to make sure everyone is properly equipped for the games because if we don’t its our fault. We always have good sportsmanship. If there is bad sportsmanship on the court we have to call it out, and we take that responsibility.”
Sipe said she has enjoyed her time at Seymour High School.
“I’ve built a lot of friendships over the years, and I just loved this place,” Sipe said. “It’s just a great place to be. I’m very thankful for that. I’m definitely going to remember all the memories we’ve made and my teammates as well as the friendships I’ve had.
“It’s mostly going to be those little things, those little feelings, the big wins, the locker room after a big win, or the bus ride home from a big win.”
Name: Hannah Sipe
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Rob and Holly Sipe
Sports: Volleyball, four years
Athletics highlight: 2015 coaches award
Organizations: Latin Club, choir, student government, student athletics board
Plans after high school: Attend college, get a nursing degree, play volleyball
Favorite food: Chicken
Favorite TV show: “This is Us”
Favorite musician: Drake
Favorite movie: “We Are Marshall”
Favorite college teams: Louisville and Iowa
Favorite athlete: Steph Curry