Volleyball: St. Francis’ McCann setting herself apart

She has made her mark in the middle of the action.

St. Francis setter Hannah McCann receives the game ball on Thursday after breaking the school’s set record from previous record holder Deidra Held. Submitted photo

Roaming around the court, St. Francis senior Hannah McCann sprints to where a dig is directed, eyes which teammate to pass to, then sets one up for a hit, and often a kill.

Now, McCann stands alone.

Last Tuesday against Buffalo, a sequence that has become so routine over the past four years occurred for the 1,559th time, as McCann took over the top spot in the St. Francis record book for career set assists.

“She has been a very consistent setter for us,” St. Francis head coach Tracey Norton said. “She is the player opposing teams worry about when preparing to play us.”

McCann’s play has transcended the program and area level, as she ranks third in the state through Monday’s match versus Blaine with 322 assists on the year.

While McCann is the one in the middle of nearly every play, she’s quick to point out the importance the defenders delivering her the ball and the hitters receiving it have had on her record.

“Without my hitters it’s not possible, but I can say that about all my teammates because the defenders play an important role too,” McCann said.

Being able to find hitters is one thing. Being in the right position to deliver the ball, and following through, are what sets McCann apart.

“She is a strong setter through her quickness to the ball, her strong defensive play and her ability to put the ball where the hitters need it,” Norton said. “Her best attribute is her way of connecting and communicating with her hitters. She knows what they need, when they need it.

“Hannah is one of the hardest working players on and off the court. She has been a joy to coach. Her most notable growth has been in her leadership and communication with her teammates. She has become a true captain on and off the court.”

McCann, a four-year starter who shared the setting position as a freshman and has been the lone setter since, set the team record as a goal for herself last year after reaching 1,000 assists.

“This record means a lot to me because I have worked very hard and put a lot of time and effort into being a better setter,” McCann said. “It is exciting to have my name in the SFHS records list and I hope the younger players look to me as a role model.”

McCann was honored before Thursday’s home match versus North Branch, with previous record holder Deidra Held presenting McCann with the game ball.

McCann’s play has helped the Fighting Saints to a 9-7 record, the latest win a five-set thriller 25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 15-13 at Blaine on Monday.

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