Lincoln Christian’s Olsen Changes College Commitment to Division I Grand Canyon University

Hannah Olsen

Hannah Olsen

LINCOLN – For most of her senior season, Lincoln Christian outside hitter Hannah Olsen planned on being a Loper in college at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. That changed recently when she was offered a chance to play for the Lopes of Grand Canyon University.

Olsen de-committed from Kearney, which finished the 2013 season ranked #8 in NCAA Division II, to join Phoenix-based Grand Canyon, which went 12-19 in 2013 – it’s first season as a Division I school and member of the Western Athletic Conference. Olsen said UNK coach Rick Squiers was very cordial about her decision, wishing her well and being happy that she was still an “Antelope.”

Olsen said the decision to switch wasn’t easy, but, the chance to study sports management in a town filled with sports teams like Phoenix, as well as the opportunity to spread her wings further from home, was appealing.

Grand Canyon has the Colangelo School of Sports Business – named for benefactor Jerry Colangelo, one of the most influential sports businessmen to work with the NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA and USA Men’s Basketball Team.

“It’s like an adventure, knowing that I’m going far away for college and to play volleyball,” Olsen said. “It’s really exciting. Plus, there’s the Arizona weather.”

Olsen said she visited Grand Canyon with some friends and fell in love with it. When she began to explore whether or not playing volleyball there would be an option, the coaches told her they wouldn’t actively recruit her unless she de-committed from Kearney. She made the leap of faith to de-commit and re-open her recruiting process and Grand Canyon liked what it saw in her enough to offer her the chance to play at the Division I level.

“I’m ready for that challenge,” Olsen said. “It’s really exciting.”

Olsen said she anticipates being used primarily as a back-row player, but she has proven to be an elite attacker thanks to her leaping ability, despite being just 5-foot-7. That versatility, she said, helped seal the deal for Grand Canyon.

Another big reason for Olsen making the change is the fact that she has grown to appreciate being part of a Christian-centered school. Olsen transferred to Lincoln Christian for her senior year and wanted to continue that education style in college.

Olsen also was a youth standout in soccer, but gave that up in pursuit of a volleyball career. She is playing this club season for Nebraska Redline out of Lincoln, but she spent the three previous club seasons playing for Nebraska Elite – making constant trips to Omaha for practices.

“Volleyball become a love in my life after always traveling with my older sister watching her play club volleyball,” Olsen said.

She was also quick to credit many of her coaches over the years in helping her develop. Coaches such as Charlene Johnson-Tagaloa, Dan Meske, Bryce Hickerson, Annika Webb, Korrine Schuster, Nikki Bales, Steve Bymers, Andrew Wherli and Tony Carrow as well as Norris coach Christina Boesiger, whom Olsen played for prior to transferring to Lincoln Christian and Vikki Power, her coach at Lincoln Christian.

“Vikki Power (taught me) how to take the sport you love and honor God with the gifts He has given you to play,” Olsen said. “I’m truly blessed to be able to play the sport I love. I’m excited for what my future at Grand Canyon University holds.”

Tournament Schedule for Weekend of April 18-20

April 18-20

Northern Lights USAV Qualifier – Minneapolis

April 19

Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 14 Gold

Parade of Champions for Weekend of April 12-13

Members of the VCNebraska 14 Black team pose together for a picture after winning the 14 Open division of the Northern Plains Power League on Sunday at The Courts.

Members of the VCNebraska 14 Black team pose together for a picture after winning the 14 Open division of the Northern Plains Power League on Sunday at The Courts.

Here is the Parade of Champions for the weekend of April 12-13. If your team takes first place in a round-robin tournament or the “gold” division of the tournament – send us your team pictures from the tournament to NebraskaPrepVolleyball@gmail.com or send it out via Twitter and include @NebHSvolleyball in your tweet.

April 12-13

VCNebraska 14 Black – Northern Plains Power League 14 Open

River City Juniors 161 – Northern Plains Power League 16 Open

Nebraska Juniors 181 – Northern Plains Power League 18 Open

April 13

Nebraska Elite 15 Velocity – Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 15 Silver

Nebraska Elite 17 Nova – Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 17 Silver

Hastings Tigers 122 – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 12 Silver I

GI Islanders 12 Black – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 12 Silver II

Hershey Panthers 13s – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 13 Silver

KVC Crush 131 – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 14 Silver I

GI Islanders 14 Purple – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 14 Silver II

Nebraska X 15′s Black – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 15 Silver

NE West 162 – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 16 Silver

Star Legacy 171 – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 17 Silver

NE West 17 – Kearney Hardcourt Volleyfest 18 Silver

South Central NE 16 Black – Midwest Qualifier Warmup 16 Gold

Nebraska ONE 16 Charge – The Oasis April Show-Me 17 Gold

Premier 18 Gold – The Oasis April Show-Me 18 Gold

MVP 14 Marty Stealth – The Oasis April Show-Me 15 Gold

Nebraska ONE 11 Rampage – Nebraska Wesleyan Springfest 12 Silver

Nebraska Elite 13 Danger Zone – Nebraska Wesleyan Springfest 13 Silver

Stanton Juniors 14 Panther – Nebraska Wesleyan Springfest 14 Silver

High Flyers 151 – Nebraska Wesleyan Springfest 15 Silver

Saints 17s – Nebraska Wesleyan Springfest 17 Silver

West Point BlueJays 151 – Pinnacle Juniors Dig Pink 15 Silver

Stangz Elite 17s – Pinnacle Juniors Dig Pink 17 Silver

Superior Juniors 18s – Super Spring Fling 17-18 Silver

April 12

Nebraska Impact 141 Banzai – Midwest Qualifier Warmup 14 Gold

Tri-State Crusaders 121 – Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 12 Silver

Premier 13 Red – Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 13 Silver

Freeman Juniors 14s – Elite Sports & Fitness Classic 14 Silver

Club Legacy 12 Rox – The Oasis April Show-Me 12 Gold

Nebraska Elite 13 Thunder – The Oasis April Show-Me 13 Gold

River City Juniors 161

River City Juniors 161

Nebraska Impact 141 Banzai

Nebraska Impact 141 Banzai

Nebraska ONE 16 Charge

Nebraska ONE 16 Charge

Nebraska Elite 133 Danger Zone

Nebraska Elite 133 Danger Zone

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