Baldwin makes an immediate impact with Warriors

By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
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Hannah Baldwin can’t call herself a starter for the William Jessup University volleyball team just yet. Still, the freshman out of Colfax High has been a major contributor to what has thus far been the best season in WJU history. The Warriors are currently in third place in the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference with a 4-2 record (10-7 overall). “We have three really good outside hitters right now, and she’s one of the three,” Warriors coach Terry Stafford said. “Her best attributes right now are her blocking at the net and the power she brings to the front row. “She’s a pretty strong hitter, but the college level is different from high school. She’s learning what to do at the next level and contributing more and more as the season progresses.” Stafford knew what he was getting when he recruited Baldwin to play for William Jessup. Besides coaching Baldwin with the Rocklin-based Northern California Volleyball Club and at Granite Bay High’s summer camps when he was the coach there, Stafford got to watch Baldwin play for Colfax against Placer – his daughter Colleen’s team. “I took a lot of time, looked at a lot of girls,” Stafford said. “Hannah had played club for me for a while, and I knew her skills and abilities. “Getting Hannah here was a no-brainer for me. I knew she had the potential to be a real strong hitter – I just had to fine-tune some things.” “I always enjoyed his coaching,” Baldwin said. “I learned a lot from him at his Granite Bay camps. … We had a good relationship through volleyball and everything, and I decided to stick with him.” As the Warriors’ first option off the bench, Baldwin had racked up 45 kills in 16 matches before last Friday. “Not being a starter doesn’t bother me,” she said. “I’ve got a lot more learning to do. I’m happy with the playtime I’ve gotten. I’m confident in where I’m at, and I know there’s always room to improve.”