ST. GEORGE — Hannah Harrah grew up in a tiny town in Idaho called Oakley, but her potential is anything but small-town. Vivacious, happy and full of life, 19-year-old Harrah is an up-and-coming force in collegiate volleyball.
“I’m very, very competitive; I always want to win and I always want to get better,” Harrah said. “I know that my competition is out there, training and getting better, too. That’s how I know I need to do even better, and it’s why I’m always pushing myself.”
Harrah does not limit herself to the court when it comes to competition and she has a clean report card to prove it. She hasn’t gotten an A-minus yet. She grew up in an all-sports family with a father who was a coach and athletic director who opened the world and joy of athletics to her at an early age.
“My dad started playing sports with me when I was three,” Harrah said. “In our family, we
play sports. It’s just what we do. We all love it.”
Harrah’s dad introduced her to basketball, golf, track and volleyball, and she grew up playing each one of them very well.
“My dad encouraged me, but he never forced me and he never pushed,” Harrah said. “It was all me. If I wanted to train, I trained. If I wanted to play, I played. But he would never ask me to do something that I didn’t already want to do, and I’m glad he was that way. Whatever I wanted to do he has always supported me in.”
Harrah certainly didn’t fall into college-level volleyball by accident. After she selected
volleyball as her sport to conquer, she got involved in SUVA, a volleyball club league in St. George for girls ages 12-18. She says she was able to get a lot of experience while playing for SUVA.
“There’s a lot of competition in club, so I had plenty of opportunity to improve my skills,” Harrah said. “And I really got some good training by being in Acceleration, which is an intensive volleyball training program.”
When asked if it was hard for her to choose between the four sports she grew up playing, there was no pause in her voice. She answered quickly and emphatically and with a small laugh, “No, no, absolutely not. Volleyball is my greatest love, so when it was time to make a decision about what sport I wanted to really pursue, I knew what to choose to invest my training in.”
Before beginning classes and volleyball at Dixie State University, Harrah was offered a full-ride academic scholarship to the University of Utah, but she chose to play volleyball at Dixie State instead.
Harrah said there were a lot of factors that went into the decision to stay in Utah’s Dixie.
“I get to be in Southern Utah, where we have perfect hiking conditions, the most beautiful outdoors, Zion, and so much more. But more importantly, I get to see my family whenever I want to — especially for Sunday dinners. I moved out, so I’m getting the college experience, but my little brothers are my best friends, so being near my family is a huge draw for me here. And Dixie is seriously such an awesome school.”
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Written by Erin Zeltner for St. George Health & Wellness Magazine and St. George News.
Erin Zeltner is a St. George native contributing to The Independent and St. George Health and Wellness Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, raising political awareness, seeing live music, writing fiction, and living the dream with her husband and two daughters at home.