The Baker Orange

Bettge tries out for USA volleyball team

Story by Chad Mullens, Writer

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Baker University sophomore and two-time All-HAAC volleyball player Hannah Bettge traveled to Colorado Springs on Thursday for USA Volleyball’s open tryout. She will be one of around 200 women competing for a spot on the team. Hannah Bettge

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“It will be a great learning opportunity to play with some of the best athletes in the country,” Bettge said.

After earning her second consecutive first-team All HAAC honors in 2014 and HAAC Freshman of the Year in 2013, Baker volleyball head coach Kathy Allen raves about Bettge heading into the tryout.

“Bettge has an innate sense of the game, a calm, cool court demeanor, a tremendous work ethic, and a killer personality,” Allen said. “She is humble, coachable, and extremely likeable, and as her coach, I couldn’t be prouder of what she represents for our team and our university.”

Teammate junior Natalie Minchow believes Bettge’s passion stands out among other volleyball players of similar caliber.

“I’ve played with a lot of different players, a lot of good players, and she has one of the strongest work ethics I’ve ever seen,” Minchow said. “She puts her heart and soul into every practice and every game. Other players maybe won’t be feeling it one day, but she’s always putting 100 percent effort for the team, and I think that sets her apart.”

Allen also thinks Bettge has unique physical tools that elevate her game above most competition.

“Without a doubt, she has foot speed, long arms, jumping ability and great hands,” Allen said.

Bettge will see some familiar faces in Colorado Springs, which she thinks will help keep her from being intimidated by the stage and the competition.

“I know about five of the girls going, I grew up with one of them, and I’ve played with a few others, so it will be nice to know some people,” she said.

As immediate goals are concerned, Bettge doesn’t have any expectations going into the tryout.

“I’m obviously going to go out there and play my hardest, but I’m really just going (in order to) get out there and get some valuable experience,” Bettge said.

Allen and Minchow have a great deal of confidence in her chances of making the roster, which will be decided on Sunday.

“I would have to look at the other players, but she is a top, elite player.” Minchow said. “I think she has a great chance of making the team.”

Allen added, “Call me biased, but my prediction is that Baker University will have its first national team player when tryouts are over.”