Hallquist: Senior Leader

Sept. 5, 2000

Imagine running on a treadmill. You are running your hardest but going nowhere fast.

That feeling is how Amy Hallquist recalls her freshman season at San Diego State. That season the Aztec women's volleyball team finished with a 5-23 record. It was something Hallquist never faced before.

"That was the hardest thing I ever went through," she said. "I have always been a competitor and a winner, it was devastating. That off-season was the hardest I have ever trained."

Hard work is something that Hallquist, a 5-10 senior outside hitter, does not fear. It was an ethic that was made evident early on by her parents and one that she has displayed since the day she first picked up a volleyball. It also is an ethic that will leave Hallquist a special place in Aztec volleyball history.

"In all the years I have coached men and women, she has to be one of the hardest working, day in and day out," said head coach Mark Warner.

Hallquist was a four-year letterwinner at Central High School in Phoenix, Ariz., where she helped lead her team to the 5A state title her junior season. As a senior, she capped off her successful career by being selected first-team all-state, first-team all-region and first-team all-Arizona. She was also named to the first team at the prestigious Las Vegas National High School Tournament, where her team finished third.

Even with the success she had in high school, Hallquist said she would have never received a scholarship without the experience and exposure she gained playing for the Arizona Juniors Volleyball Club.

"Playing club volleyball is a great opportunity because all the coaches come to recruit at the tournaments," she said. "Club is very important. You won't get anywhere without it."

"Financially, club was expensive," she continued. "But my parents supported me all the way, going to all my games and tournaments. They put in a lot of time for me and I don't think they realized it would turn into a scholarship, but it did."

Hallquist chose SDSU over Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Santa Clara and North Carolina.

"I felt right at home," said Hallquist. "The coaches are the best because they care for us on and off the court. They're like fathers away from home."

The biggest adjustment from high school to college for her was not athletic but academic. In high school, Hallquist was on the honor roll all four years, but college has been completely different for her. She struggled with her busy schedule of practice, games, classes and studying. Eventually she learned to adjust.

"I learned how to manage my time, and that helped a whole lot," she said. "Also I learned how to study."

Due to the level of volleyball her senior year in high school and the competition she faced in club, Hallquist had little trouble adjusting to the college game.

"Athletically, Amy progressed very quickly," said Warner. "The speed of the college game is faster, but she progressed like you would want."

According to Warner, this is due to the incredible attitude Hallquist displays every day.

"It's very rare when Amy doesn't bring a good attitude to the gym. I'm talking about every day," he said. "I never have to worry about her going hard in the weight room, running or anything else she does. Generally speaking that comes from within - - the will to do well."

Warner views Hallquist as the leader of the team, a position she accepts and tries her best to fulfill.

"I try to be the most positive I can be at all times, and that to me is a good example for everybody else," she said.

"If one person is negative, then it spreads," she continued. "That's why I try my hardest to stay positive, even in a bad situation, because you can always get out of a bad situation."

This season Hallquist wants to settle some unfinished business, not for herself, but for her team.

"I want to prove everyone wrong who has ever thought anything bad about us because of our previous records," she said.

When Hallquist, who is a public administration major, finishes her volleyball career she wants to be remembered as a good person on and off the court and someone that her teammates could look to for support of any kind. She especially wants to be remembered as a hard worker, something she will carry over into her future career as an ultrasound technician.

Warner believes the legacy Hallquist will leave behind will be as unique as the attitude she displayed after the 5-23 debacle her freshman season.

"I recall her bringing a card to me saying that things would get better and that she was determined to improve the situation," he said. "But she wasn't talking about herself, she was talking about the whole team. I thought that was a unique thing for a freshman."

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