Nov. 24—It has been about five years since Hannah Dorsey’s athletic career changed forever.
She was in seventh grade when Briley Penny, who was then a junior at Claremore High School, approached her about playing volleyball. Before then, she never thought about having the sport in her life.
But in a moment of spontaneity, Dorsey decided to accept the offer, thus beginning a journey that has culminated in one of the highest honors in Oklahoma high school volleyball.
The senior setter was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association 2023 Large East All-State team last month, becoming the first Lady Zebra to earn the distinction since Brooke Jones in 2020. She was one of 10 players selected for the squad.
The large-school match is scheduled for 6 pm July 25 at a to-be-determined location in the Tulsa area.
It took about a year for Dorsey to get acclimated to the volleyball life, and she began playing competitive club ball in eighth grade. She wasn’t done there, though.
Dorsey then took up beach volleyball, setting herself up for a year-round schedule of engaging in the sport.
“It was kind of like a recurring cycle that I kept doing,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey logged some impressive numbers as a two-year starter for Claremore, surpassing 100 aces, 100 assists and 200 digs for her career.
This season alone she was responsible for 178 points (90 kills, 71 aces and 17 blocks) while also tallying 355 assists and 178 digs, helping the Lady Zebras to a 23-18 record and a regional-final berth under first-year coach Derek Jackson.
Although all those stats are special to her, Dorsey said she appreciates her assist numbers the most because of what they help her teammates achieve.
“It’s giving my hitters a chance to kill the ball,” said Dorsey, who was also a first-team selection for the Metro Lakes All-Conference team. “Whenever I used to set, I would not get there. I would always be unbalanced, and coach Jackson has helped me to actually finish my sets and make them more smooth.”
Jackson certainly appreciated her contributions as well.
Dorsey won consecutive Lady Zebra Volleyball Player of the Week honors in early September, managing 11 aces, five kills, 34 assists and 20 digs through three matches from Aug. 13-Sept. 8.
“It’s always nice to have a player who can do a little bit of everything,” Jackson said. “She adds to the team in all sorts of ways. She’s not just a one-dimensional player.”