Freshman libero/defensive specialist Hannah Benjamin (#4) huddles with her teammates during last weekend's 3-1 victory over San Francisco. The Cardinal, which starts conference play this Friday, has enjoyed a strong start to the season, going 7-3 so far. (GIULIO GRATTA/The Stanford Daily)
Freshman libero/defensive specialist Hannah Benjamin (#4) huddles with her teammates during last weekend's 3-1 victory over San Francisco.
Though a rookie to D-I volleyball, freshman libero and defensive specialist Hannah Benjamin is no newcomer to volleyball.
With USA Junior National Team training under her belt, Benjamin comes to Stanford with much experience.
also appeared in the Junior Olympics in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Encinitas Wave Volleyball and Coast Volleyball club teams gave her
a taste of the fast-paced D-I world.
"Not only are the girls hitting the ball harder," Benjamin
said, "but you also have to learn to react to things more quickly because every point counts when the competition is always strong."
While adjusting to a more intense level of volleyball may be a challenge, Benjamin counts on her
close-knit team and supportive coaches to teach her
the ins and outs of college ball.
"One of the most helpful ways that my coaches have facilitated the transition is by exposing me to the game," Benjamin
"In our first tournament, all three healthy freshmen played.
It forced us to step up to the challenge of a faster-paced game and helped build our confidence."
Benjamin's coaches have instilled confidence in her
by throwing her
into the deep end and she
seems to have taken a piece of her
teammates' attitudes as well: boldness.
"I have learned from our other liberos and defensive specialists to play with no fear," she
"I look up to all three of these girls and really respect their fearlessness and gumption."
Benjamin looks to carry this "No Fear" attitude through her
volleyball career at Stanford
Each minute of playing time is a piece of the large impact she
hopes to make here.
"My goal for this season is to make a difference every time I step on the court," she
"As a defensive specialist, who only has limited time on the court, making sure to play as hard as I can all the time is very important."
And though Benjamin
makes an impact on the court, she
also makes an impression on her
This freshman is especially famous among teammates for her
gestures during a game of Catch Phrase.
"Several girls on the team love the show 'The Office' and they are constantly reciting lines.
One of these lines is 'Boom . . . ROASTED!' so we all know the line even if we don't follow 'The Office.' When Alix [Klineman] said the word 'Boom' as a hint, the whole team proceeded to yell 'Roasted!'" Benjamin
said of her
favorite Catch Phrase moment.
Among the many adjustments Benjamin
has had to make this year, moving away from her
biggest fans definitely ranks as the hardest.