10 Questions with Setter Micha Hancock
Micha Hancock has surprised many by earning the starting setter position for the Penn State women’s volleyball team in her freshman year. At setter, she has wowed Penn State fans with her impressive jump serve and her left-handed attack. Onward State had a chance to speak with Hancock before the Nittany Lions played Ohio State on Wednesday night.
Onward State: How have you been adjusting to life so far at Penn State?
Micha Hancock: It’s pretty busy. I mean, collegiate sports aren’t anything to mess with. We have a lot of time in the gym and it’s just different coming from high school and being laid back. It’s an adjustment definitely, but I think it’s gone pretty good.
OS: You had first committed to Tulsa, but you came to Penn State after a coaching change there. Have you been happy with your decision so far?
MH: Definitely. I like the program a lot, and I like how all my coaches are pushing me to be the best I can be. As a freshman, it’s really nice.
OS: Speaking of being a freshman, did you think that you would be starting this early into your career at Penn State?
MH: I didn’t know, but coming here, I knew I had to work to get my spot. It was a challenge, but I took it and I kinda grew with it. Every practice, I could lose my spot at any time. It’s a challenge and that’s what I like about it.
OS: One of the things you have become known for is your serve. How have you been able to make it so consistent to the point that you almost never miss?
MH: Just practice, really. We play games 11 to 11. So, it’s like crunch time in practice. So, I guess that helps me be more consistent. Other than that, it’s just hitting the ball to me.
OS: Also, you have a left-handed attack at setter. How do you decide when to use that in a match?
MH: Well, it’s basically when I see the middle is not with me and they’re ignoring me. So, I try to score when they’re not there, or I’ll set someone else to get them one-on-one.
OS: The Big Ten is really tough this year. Illinois (undefeated and leading the conference) already came into Rec Hall and won. Do you guys still believe that you can win the Big Ten this year?
MH: Yeah. It’s just all about consistency with our whole team and fighting as a team and working hard the whole game. It’s about having our goal, our ending goal, to win a national championship at the end of the season. It starts with the Big Ten. We need to come in here and practice hard every day and think about doing that to win the Big Ten.
OS: How good did it feel over the weekend to finally beat a ranked team on the road at Purdue?
MH: It was nice. It was a good win for us. I still think we have a lot of work to do. It was a really good win on the road.
OS: Coach Russ Rose has mentioned troubles with communication between you and the hitters many times this season. How have you been trying to work on that facet of the game?
MH: It’s just about being aggressive, I think. We have a lot of hesitation, and we have to cut that out. Obviously, that’s not really working right now.
OS: At Penn State, if you become an insanely successful coach, you get an ice cream named after you. So, if you come back here and get 2,000 wins as a head coach, what ice cream would you like named after you?
MH: I really like chocolate ice cream. It’s my favorite. I guess I’d say chocolate. I don’t know what the name would be, but that would be the ice cream I would choose.