School is back and fall is already flying by! However, fall athletes have been hard at work for over two weeks now. Sophomore Psychology and Journalism major, Hannah Franson, is one of those players!
Franson is an outside right hitter for the Flyers volleyball team. She and the team are going on their fourth week of preseason. During the past month, their lives have consisted of homework, class, lift, meetings, practice and for Franson, the Flyer’s Den. A “fried chicken sandwich with fries and a half lemonade half iced tea,” to be precise.
Along with the packed weekdays, the Flyers are always on the road. This past summer, Franson and her teammates traveled Europe for two weeks playing games in Prague, Maribor, Lucca, Rome, Florence and Amsterdam. In early September, the Flyers went 3-1 in San Marcos, California, and 2-2 at the Colorado Premier Challenge tournament the following weekend. Looking forward, the team is traveling to Florida on September 15th.
Travel can be really fun, especially when it’s in Europe or on a beach. However, Franson shared that one drawback to being on the road is “getting comfortable. We’re gone so much that I don’t have a lot of time to grow in my space.”
Despite the unease that this creates, Franson described how traveling is one of the best parts of being a student-athlete. She recounted her time in Europe with the team, saying, “Late at night we’d be going back [on the bus] from dinner or a city and we’d be singing Pitch Perfect songs. We were all just screaming with each other.”
So, although the Flyers are exhausted from drills, lifts, early mornings and late nights, the memories formed are like no other. There is something to be said about the grit it takes to be an athlete and the respect it spreads throughout a team. The bond between all the women has come mostly from the fact that they have “all gone through a ton together,” says Franson.
Not only have they grown closer, but Franson also emphasized how much more important mental health has become. Being more aware of it has only allowed them to grow stronger mentally. Franson pointed out that “from last year to this year our confidence is way higher.”
When asked how she feels about heading into the conference, Franson echoes the whole team when she says, “I’m so ready to go. I’m ready for the home games, I’m ready for the travel days. I love being part of this team.”
The Flyers take on Drury and Southwest Baptist at their first home games on September 22 and 23!
Photo Credits: Women’s Volleyball Team