LOMBARD – Watching Meghan Hanewall play volleyball now, it would be easy to assume she’s been spiking and digging balls since she could walk.
The skillful Glenbard East senior outside hitter can hit any angle on the court with her attacks, go for power or finesse and is also a dependable back row player. Despite those refined skills, Hanewall didn’t start playing major club ball until after her freshman season of high school volleyball.
She played two years in junior high and had played some club ball, and was good enough for her to make the varsity team at East as a freshman.
“I think I was just tall and they were looking for a tall middle,” Hanewall said, shrugging off the accomplishment.
Three years later Hanewall was the unquestioned star and leader of the Rams this fall. The 5-foot-10 Hanewall was a catalyst for the young and improving Rams team. Her dominant play made her the Most Valuable Player of the Suburban Life all-area girls volleyball team.
Hanewall had 320 kills for a Rams squad that ended a two-year winless drought in the DuPage Valley Conference and won a playoff match for the first time since 2009. Hanewall was the team’s only senior starter.
“Her leadership she provided for us this year [was key],” Glenbard East coach Marci Maier said. “She definitely helped mentor some of the younger players and helped them along this year.
“She wanted to do everything perfect. That internal drive has set her apart.”
Hanewall’s ability to help the younger players along was about returning the favor. From her own experience, Hanewall knows what it’s like to be one of the youngest players on the team.
Hanewall joked that her parents were more worried than she was about playing with older girls. Her first season opened her eyes to her potential.
“My freshman year was more about exploring it and seeing where I could take it,” she said. “My sophomore year was when I got set more.”
After her freshman season Hanewall joined the prestigious Sports Performance Volleyball Club. After playing as a middle hitter two years at Glenbard East she moved over to outside hitter, her club position.
Hanewall has enjoyed her time with Sports Performance, but the rigors of club volleyball don’t compare to the fun she has had playing for her high school team.
“I think at Sports Performance it’s more about getting to college,” Hanewall said. “It’s about getting everything perfect.”
Hanewall is still looking to find a college, but she has Division I offers. After getting injured during the main club recruiting season, she is hoping to end the process soon so she can focus on enjoying the rest of her senior year.