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At the net with . . .
Athens Bible School's Hannah Owens

It’s a big week for Athens Bible School and senior Hannah Owens, who are vying for a return trip to the volleyball state tournament, hosting Speake in a sub-state match-up Thursday. Owens, a setter, is proud to be part of the strong Lady Trojans volleyball tradition and had plenty to say about her experiences when she sat down for 10 questions with Daily Sports Writer Brooke Milam:

Question: Athens Bible School has built a reputation for strong athletic programs. What is one school you respect in sports?

Answer: Well, we have this kind of rivalry with Elkmont High in volleyball. We’re in the same county, and we feel like we’re a lot like them. We’re both talented volleyball teams that have represented Limestone County well. We’ve played them seven times this year. We’ve beaten them six times, and they’ve won once.

Q: Coach April Davis said you are talkative on and off the court. Do you know what your first words were as a baby?

A: I’ve heard “Momma” and “Daddy,” and my sister’s name is “Dana.” I was always a talker, and when I was like 8 months old, my mom said I didn’t walk — I ran.

Q: Halloween is coming up next week. What is the best Halloween costume you have ever had?

A: I’m going to be a pirate this year. Last year, we were playing at the state tournament on Halloween, so I’ve was a volleyball player. Hopefully that’s what we’ll be doing again this year — knock on wood.

Q: What is a favorite Halloween memory you have that also involves volleyball?

A: I’m very social. Last year before regionals, we were supposed to be in bed by 10 the night before, and I was in line at the Cells of Terror. I’m always out before major games it seems like.

Q: What is your favorite holiday?

A: Probably Christmas. I live in East Limestone, and we drive around to look for lights. Some houses do them good. My mom’s family lives in Rome, Ga., and we go there. And my sister and brother-in-law live in Columbia, S.C., and they come visit. It’s good to have them home for Christmas.

Q: If you could have a shopping spree to any store, what would it be?

A: Probably Ralph Lauren. I went to one in Gatlinburg, and everything was on sale.

Q: What is something you are proud of besides your volleyball accomplishments?

A: I’m going to Auburn my first year of college as a sophomore because of dual-enrollment classes. I started that my junior year in high school, and I feel accomplished to be able to have done so much before I graduate and be able to start college ahead.

Q: There are not many youth leagues for volleyball. How did you get your start?

A: Abbie (Melvin, senior teammate) and I have been best friends since kindergarten, and we’d come into P.E. and pick up a volleyball. We kind of always counted down the days until we could play junior high volleyball, and we’ve been playing since then. We also played a year of club volleyball when Limestone County had a club team.

Q: Does your team do anything special before a big game?

A: We have rituals. We always pray and do a cheer. We make signs to decorate the gym. It encourages us and also shows our creative side.

Q: Playing for a small school, would you say your team is closer than most?

A: I’m graduating with 30-something people, and that’s a big class. We have five seniors on the volleyball team (Owens, Melvin, Katie Eubanks, Elizabeth Murray and Laurin Lee), and we’ve played since seventh grade. Most of us on the team have been here since early elementary school or junior high.

We do fun things together outside volleyball, too — like this year, we had a high school musical party to kick off the season. Mackenzie (Coach Davis’ 5-year-old daughter) invited us.

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