Carson High’s Hack headed to Texas to pursue volleyball career
Courtney Hack, a four-year varsity volleyball player at Carson High School, has signed a national letter of intent to continue her volleyball career and education at the University of St. Thomas, an NAIA school in Houston.
The 5-foot-8 Hack signed her letter of intent last weekend, which made it a double celebration given that Carson held its graduation ceremony last Saturday. St. Thomas is the only Catholic university in Texas and plays in the Red River Athletic Conference. The school was founded in the 1940s and has about 4,000 students on its campus in downtown Houston.
“I’m really excited,” Hack said. “I was looking at a Division II school in North Carolina and a junior college in Illinois when this offer came in. When the coach (Kallie Noble) called me, we talked and it was a better fit — closer to home.”
Noble said Hack was a “good get.”
“We had a freshman setter who had a chance to potentially play this year, but she decided to concentrate on academics,” Noble said. “A good friend of mine coached club where Courtney played and told me about her. For being late in recruiting, Courtney is a good get. She has good size and good skills. We could probably run a 5-1 if we wanted. She has enough size that we could swing her up front. Having a 5-8 setter is a good thing.
“I’ve seen some video. She is coming to campus this weekend to help with a volleyball camp, so hopefully we’ll be able to get some training in while she’s here. Her training in Nevada has been good (in club and high school).”
And the trip, albeit a short one, will give Hack a glimpse of the campus for the first time.
Hack comes into a good situation. She will be competing for playing time with another freshman. Normally, having two first-year players at a key position would concern most coaches, but Noble, a former college setter, said she isn’t overly concerned.
“Both are very experienced setters,” Noble said. “It’s a little bit of a concern, but we have enough returning players. It’s a position we’re going to focus on. The girls will have some good players to set.”
St. Thomas was third in its conference and second in its post-season tournament en route to posting 19 wins last year. The Celts lost in the first round of the national tournament.
Hack said one thing she wants to improve on is playing at a faster speed.
“I want to speed up the pace of the offense,” Hack said. “High school volleyball has a different pace than club volleyball, and club volleyball has a different pace than college volleyball.”
Playing setter is like playing point guard. Both positions run the offensive attack, and in both cases are responsible for making sure the right people are getting the ball at the right time. Hack admits she has heard a teammate want the ball, and her philosophy is pretty simple on the subject.
“Everybody needs to understand that you need to get the victory, and you can’t be selfish about it,” she said. “If you make mistakes, you’re not going to get the ball. You feed the hitter who is doing the best at that point in the game.”
Erin Been, Carson assistant coach, believes that Hack will do well at the collegiate level.
“She is a very consistent player who will work hard and do anything the coaching staff asks,” Been said. “She will be able to contribute to that program because of her knowledge and experience.”