Women's Volleyball Q&A: Hana Lishman

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Sophomore libero Hana Lishman talks about how she got into volleyball as well as her experience going from an attacking to a defensive position:

Hana  Lishman

Q: What are your goals now and for the rest of your career?

A: For this season, I think we just want to finish strong and right now we're definitely going up. This has been a good learning season for us. We're definitely taking those lessons and trying to improve a lot. For the next two years, I would say, just to continue with this growth of just being better and improving and helping my teammates out. Just growing in the sport mentally and physically and just being the best I can for my team and with my team.

Q: How are you feeling about the new additions to the team this year?

A: We had four incoming freshmen and they have all been great additions to the team. They fit very well with us as a whole. Not as many new people because we were a really young team last year and this year we brought back everyone, which was great, because that strong bond was already there. We had a junior transfer named Blossom Sato come in along with other freshmen and even though they were new to the team, they fit really well and everything has been really smooth.

Q: You are from Hawai'i. What would you say has been different about the transition from Hawai'i to Malibu?

A: The nicest change has been the view. Where I live in Hawaii the beach is like 30 seconds from my house but this view is just amazing. Having the beach right there has been amazing because it's just like home. It's only one flight out to get home and my coach is from Hawai'I, which is great, because we have our own inside jokes and we talk about Hawai'i a lot, which is always nice. So the transition really wasn't too bad. The people here have been really nice and kind and I love how a lot of my teammates enjoy the fact that I'm Hawaiian. They're always asking me how to say different things in Hawaiian and I really love it. In my freshman year we went to Hawai'i for one of our tournaments and everyone really embraced the culture, enjoying the food and everything, so they all made the transition really easy.

Q: Your real first name is Dallas. Why do you more commonly go by Hana?

A: Well, Hana actually comes from my middle name, Kamehanaokala, which means warmth of the sun in Hawaiian. My parents named me Dallas because my dad is a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys even though we have no connection to Dallas, Texas, whatsoever. My dad always wanted to name one of his sons Dallas. Before I was born, my parents thought I was going to be a boy and when they found out that I was a girl, my mom said she didn't want more kids so they just named me Dallas. Growing up, I've gotten used to being called Hana because nobody really called me Dallas. Sometimes people do call me Dallas and I just take a little more time to respond because I'm not used to it, but as I've gotten older I've started liking it a lot more. As for why I'm called Hana, like I mentioned, it comes from my middle name, which was really hard to pronounce so we just cut it short to Hana.

Q: You were an outside hitter in high school and now you're a libero. How have you handled the change of going from an attacking position to a defensive position?

A: In Hawai'i I'm actually considered tall, which is funny, because I don't really think I'm that tall. I've always been in an outside position for club volleyball and high school and with it comes a lot of passing like defense and serve receive so I had a lot of training with those libero skills. So the transition wasn't hard because I already had a lot of it under my belt. But the transition did put me out of my comfort zone in terms of talking on the court. I was always a silent player but in this position I have to talk a lot. I knew I needed to, but it was just hard stepping out of my shell. I still wouldn't say it's easy, but my coaches and teammates were super encouraging and they really helped push that door open so it's been great.

Q: How did you get into volleyball?

A: I started volleyball when I was 6 or 7 years old. My parents were always really into sports and they wanted me and my siblings to get into sports at a young age. They signed us up for a lot of different sports and I tried a few but I only stuck with volleyball and soccer. At one point, I actually quit volleyball and just played soccer for a bit until I started to miss playing volleyball and so I went back to playing both. After a point my parents wanted me to stick with just one because they wanted me to focus on my school and so I picked volleyball. My parents were my coaches for a while and then I moved onto club. I started off playing with my family friends so it was nice growing with people I knew and was comfortable with so we could all help each other out, learning more about the game, developing my skills and positions and things like that. It's taught me so many values, which don't just help me on the court, but off the court as well and just generally it's really helped me grow as a person.

Q: How has your transition from freshman to sophomore been?

A: Honestly, I do feel a lot more mature and confident on the court. Being a freshman on the court, there's a lot of pressure and stress and so my coaches and teammates really helped me feel confident about myself and trust myself when I'm out there. As I said before, I used to be a shy player but they really helped me crack that shell and that's why I've felt so much better this year. When I came back, I knew what I needed to do and I knew how to do it. Also after having gone through it all, I've wanted to help the freshmen coming in and give them tips and advice on how to grow. I want to be able to help them the way my teammates helped me because I understand how stressful it can be. I'd say more than my skills, my mentality switched and definitely in a good way.

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