A collage of Merissa holding a volleyball at 9 years old through her senior year next to an shot of her state championship medal.
Member Stories

This Volleyball State Champ Started at the Y

A young volleyball player started out in our volleyball program. Her hard work led her to win a state championship with her teammates.

Christy Ragle
 (Contributing author)

Merissa Hanning’s journey to winning an IHSAA Volleyball State Championship started at the Henry County YMCA when she was just 7 years old. Her early days of volleyball at the Y were primarily spent learning the sport and developing relationships.

“I wasn’t very athletic, but I loved volleyball,” Merissa expressed.

Volleyball at the Y wasn’t just about learning skills. Merissa also recalls making new friends and learning about cooperation.

“Playing volleyball at the Y helped me learn about building relationships and having a good attitude no matter what,” she shared. “These lessons have helped a lot, not just on our state championship team, but also for life in general.”

Merissa played both fall and spring sessions of volleyball at the Y for five years, and over time her hard work and the skills she learned started to blossom. She remembers the first time she served the ball overhand and being one of the first in her age group to master that skill.

“There was never any pressure at the Y, it was a nice environment,” Merissa recalls. “They work with kids of all levels of skill.”

Volleyball signups open on February 15. Four age levels are available: Blockers (12-14), Hitters (10-11), Setters (8-9) & Passers (6-7). The cost is $30 for members and $60 for program participants. Games begin in early/mid-April and run through early/mid-May.

Learn more about Youth Volleyball »

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Christy Ragle

Christy Ragle, owner and lead consultant at WholeHeart Communications, is the public relations/marketing contractor for the Henry County YMCA.

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