Athlete of the Week – Hannah Yoder

By Elizabeth Fulcher – Horizon News & Feature Editor

Unlike most Larks, Hannah Yoder’s path to Hesston College was not a straight line. Yoder, a sophomore middle blocker from South Dakota originally attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa before transferring after her first semester last year.

Photo by Larry Bartel, Hesston College Marketing and Communications

“My senior yer of high school, I was so back and forth between what school to attend, Hesston or Northwestern. After a lot of thinking and praying, I felt that God was leading me to Northwestern so that’s where I chose to go,” Yoder said.

She completed her first semester in Iowa before deciding that it was not a good fit for her.

“A lot of little things added up and it just wasn’t working out, but I knew that Hesston would be a perfect fit for me so I decided to transfer after the first semester.”

Starting with a team of 27 at Northwestern and changing to a team of 13, Yoder saw a big difference in team camaraderie. She says she loves how close everybody is at Hesston, calling her fellow volleyball players more like a family than a team.

“Coming here was the best decision of my life,” she said. “Hesston is a community. It’s really cliche and everyone says it, but it’s true. I can’t go a meal without seeing someone I know, I always know people in each of my classes, and the opportunities you get to meet people are amazing. It’s not just surface relationships here, you really get to know people.”

Photo by Larry Bartel, Hesston College Marketing and Communications

Freshman Kylee Kassleman calls Yoder “an awesome teammate.”

“She’s always super sweet and supportive on the court.”

Coach DeeDee Landes agrees.

“Hannah is an athlete who leads through her actions and provides a good example for our girls in many different areas of life,” she said. “She takes her faith seriously, works hard at academics and likes to engage in challenging conversations.”

Photo by Larry Bartel, Hesston College Marketing and Communications

Landes says she’s excited Hannah’s path led her to Hesston and looks forward to “seeing her grow into her role on the team.”

Off the court, Yoder is a physical therapy major. 

“I really enjoy studying how the body works and I like being able to help people to their normal state with an injury or something similar.”

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