Jill Hirschinger | Head Coach | Women’s Volleyball | University of New Hampshire (UNH)

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Beyond the physical attributes of how high they jump or how hard they hit when we start to look deeper into what makes the player the right fit for our program. We ask these questions:

-Are they the go-to player in a pressure match? (confident in self and trusted by teammates)

-Do they make everyone around them better? (A good team player who will lead others)

-Do they play with a “big personality” on the court? (Personal power and in women’s sports not afraid to play outside the box)

Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

I had a player contact me about trying out for the team.  She had very little experience and came from a very low level program.  She sent a tape and I could see she was not up to our level.  I rejected her.  She contacted me again and asked what else she could do because she was coming here to school and really wanted to play.  She was persistent in contacting me.  The only option was for her to attend our summer camp of which I thought she did not have a chance of making the team but she would not take “no” for an answer.  She attended the summer camp.  I was so impressed with her work habits and competitiveness that I invited her to be on the team.  Her freshman year she redshirted and did not have the skills to participate in scrimmages in practices.  I had her go off to a side court and work on her own.  She had the passion and persistence to go after what she wanted.  She never got down on herself but took advantage of every opportunity to get better.  She left the program as a three year captain, 2 time conference Libero of the year and led the team to 2 conference championships and 2 NCAA tournament appearances.  She also holds records in the UNH weight room for squats and bench press.