Saturday, June 23, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week

The following article was posted on September 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 28

Hannah Lacaste


Hannah Lacaste is not afraid of a challenge. Currently in her junior volleyball season at Pioneer Valley High School, Lacaste is a four sport athlete, competing in volleyball, cross country, track, and wrestling. As a volleyball player, Lacaste is on the outside hitter position.

“As an outside hitter, we depend on her all-around abilities such as passing, serving, and kill percentage,” head coach Nikki Doyle said. “An outside hitter needs to be an all-around strong player, and Hannah is definitely that for our team.”

Lacaste, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines almost four years ago, said she started playing volleyball her freshman year.

“In the Philippines, I played badminton, and that was the closest thing to volleyball,” Lacaste said. “It’s also a sport my family played.”

Hannah Lacaste

Coach Doyle has been working with Lacaste for two years. Doyle said Lacaste’s coachable attitude is what stood out to her most.

“She pays attention to what I say and tries her hardest to implement it,” Doyle said.

Doyle added that Lacaste has made tremendous improvement to her game since her freshman year, citing her vertical jump as her biggest strength. Despite being smaller in stature, Lacaste is able to get on top of the ball with seeming ease, Doyle said.

“She is now able to read the court and has become better at the art of being a smart hitter,” Doyle said. “I say art because this is a very difficult skill for young players to do.”

Lacaste said she has enjoyed her junior season the most because of her teammates and the bond they share.

“The team is like family to me; we are more connected this year,” Lacaste said. “Last year everyone wanted to be on top and now we are all helping each other however we can.”

Coming into this season, Lacaste said her goals were to gain more self-control and make smarter plays. According to Doyle, Lacaste’s biggest service to the team is her consistency, but that’s not the only way she serves the Panthers.

Lacaste is also a captain on the team, so she is looked to by many of her teammates. Although she is a very quiet captain, Doyle said that Lacaste is a leader by example.

“As a person, Hannah has to be one of the sweetest and hard-working individuals I have ever met,” Doyle said.

It’s hard to imagine how a teenager is able to balance four sports across the school year, volunteering at the hospital, and maintaining a 4.0-plus GPA, but Lacaste makes it look easy.

“I have a passion that drives me, and I like to challenge myself,” she said. “I like feeling the pain and knowing that in the end it will be all worth it.”

There are times, Lacaste admits, that she wants to give up. But during those times, she said she reminds herself how far she has come and leaves the rest up to her faith in God.

“It is challenging because I have less time for homework and hanging with friends,” she said. “But I get to be mentally and physically healthy.”

After high school, Lacaste said she will likely be done with athletics.

“I want to go to medical school, so I probably won’t have time for sports,” she said with a laugh.

Lacaste is looking forward to the rest of her volleyball season, playing with a team that she says has strength and a lot of fight.

“I want to thank all my coaches and people who have guided me during all of this,” Lacaste said. “And for the people that told me I couldn’t do it, thank you for challenging me.”

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