It’s early Wednesday morning, and most students are only up because of their 8 or 9 a.m. classes. Although Diana doesn’t have a morning class, she’s been up since before 8 a.m. for an early workout.
Everyone else is quietly reading or waiting for their caffeine to kick in, but Diana is already wide awake. Her voice can be heard down the hall, and the more we talk about her favorite sport, the wider her smile gets. Volleyball is the source of all her excitement.
“I’ve been playing since I was five,” Hassink said. “All of my siblings played, so it’s definitely a family thing. I will definitely be on the 75 years and older team. I’ll be playing for the rest of my life.”
Today, Hassink is one of the two leaders on the University of Dallas volleyball team.
She says that her journey as an athlete at UD has been a whirlwind, juggling both homework and a tight schedule, but worth every practice and game.
As Hassink enters her fourth year of playing for the school, she’s had three different coaches. Rather than seeing this as an obstacle, Hassink has seen every new coach as an opportunity to improve her skills.
“Every coach comes with a different style of coaching and an even bigger style of playing the game,” Hassink said. “I really enjoy Coach Kelli Trautmann’s style of coaching. She’s very direct, and pushes us to hold each other accountable.”
Although their first game isn’t until Sept. 15, from what Hassink has seen at practice, she has no doubt that the team will play competitively.
“I’m very thankful for all the freshman we have,” Hassink said. “It’s good to have new blood. Despite being smaller than other teams in our conference, I’ve noticed that we don’t settle. We make sure to do everything we can before the ball dies on our side of the court.”
Volleyball is a huge part of her life and has been a major part of her college career, but she makes it clear that she chose UD as a student first. Being able to play volleyball was just a plus.
When she’s not on the volleyball court, she is breaking school records for the track team or playing ultimate frisbee. Last spring, Hassink broke the school record in both the hammer throw and shotput in women’s track and field.
“I always feel like I can be doing more,” Hassink said. “I thrive off of playing sports — it’s my knack. I like knowing how to do different things and having that diverse skill set when it comes to sports.”
Being one that practices what she preaches, Hassink radiates excellence in each of her sports.