By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
FAIRMOUNT, Ind. —
It only takes one viewing.
Just one time to see Madison-Grant’s Hunter Wise launch her long and angular frame at and through the ball to understand why she is The Herald Bulletin’s Volleyball Player of the Year for the second consecutive autumn.
Wise, the senior who led the Argylls to a sectional title, had 533 kills this season and most of those sounded a bit distinctive.
“It is certainly an advantage to be tall, 6-foot-2 or whatever,” said Madison-Grant coach Bob Holloway. “But not every tall player is a good hitter. It takes skill at every position in volleyball.”
Wise always had a focus on team goals, but now that she has played her final high school game, she can look back on the season past.
“I think I had a pretty good year,” Wise said. “Overall I beat some of my old numbers. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I have without my teammates and without the people who have always supported me.”
“She’s done a great job of making herself better,” said Holloway. “She better understands what to do in certain situations. I had her for four years and probably her freshman, sophomore and part of her junior year, I didn’t think she saw the court all that well. But since then and especially at the end of this season, her court awareness has really improved.”
Her level of play attracted colleges and scholarship offers. But after visiting some of those colleges, she decided to go where her head and heart told her to go.
“I’ve always loved Ball State,” Wise said. “When I went to those other colleges, I just didn’t feel right. But when I went to Ball State, I just felt like it was the right place.”
The nearness of the university was a positive.
“It is so close that my parents can come to my games,” she said. “Any weekend that I want to go home I can. I also really like Steve (BSU coach Shondell).”
So without an offer of an athletic scholarship, she will walk on, but she’s not worried about the financial ramifications.
“I’m a smart girl,” she said. “I know there are scholarships that I can get.”
But there will be another level to which she will need to elevate her game to play for the Cardinals.
“She’ll need to adjust to having three or four girls on the court as tall as she is or taller,” Holloway said. “In this area and even in Delaware County, teams weren’t very big up the middle. They had good teams but just not very big.”
“I will definitely need to get quicker feet,” Wise said. “I am going to work hard to get better.”