VOLLEYBALL: Defensive Specialist Hock Makes Splash At BC
From California To Boston, Hock Has Adjusted Quickly
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Already appearing in 69 sets and finding herself second on the team with 234 digs and 10 aces, not to mention receiving ACC Freshman of the Week honors on Oct. 8, it is safe to say that the transition from California to Boston has not fazed Boston College volleyball’s libero Franny Hock. With the support of the squad’s veterans and an instant bond with the team’s large freshman class, Hock feels right at home as an Eagle.
“It was definitely intimidating coming to this team, because the team is so close,” Hock said. “The girls are super nice, so everything worked out fine, and we all became really close really fast, and that definitely shows when we play.”
Growing up in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Hock played for the Sunshine Volleyball club. This competitive club team earned bids to the Junior Olympics from 2009-2012 and took third place at the U18 AAU Beach Volleyball National Championship in 2011. With Hock playing an important role on this elite club, BC was fortunate to snag a player of her caliber.
“I saw the program was really growing, and I knew a lot of the freshman like Katty [Workman], Kam [McLain], and Ariana [Hanley] were coming,” Hock said. “[Head coach] Chris [Campbell] is a really good coach, and I knew that this was his third year being here, and he was trying to improve the program. I loved BC as a school to begin with, and just adding volleyball on top of it made it seem like the perfect choice for me.”
With a record of 10-11 and wins over tough conference opponents such as Duke, the Eagles have shown drastic improvement from just a year ago when they finished with a final record of 7-19. Much of this recent success can be credited to Hock and the strong freshman class.
“I think the biggest class on the volleyball team is the freshman class, with six girls that are freshmen,” Hock said. “It’s great because we have an automatic bond, because we are going through BC together, first experiences and everything … they are people you can relate to. Even the older girls are easy to relate to, it’s just nice having freshmen that are there every step of the way.”
While Hock was able to quickly feel at home in the company of her teammates, she did not feel at home on the court, as one would expect, until the Eagles’ first game, which resulted in a victory.
“The first game I played with my team—I think it was against Binghamton in the summer during our preseason, when we hosted a tournament—was the best experience I had had with the team,” Hock said. “In practices, obviously you are trying to do six-on-six, but you don’t really get that connection until you play a different team and you really have to work together. Getting that rhythm in our first game was definitely a marking experience.”
That early experience has culminated in solid play on the court for the new Eagle. Since that Binghamton game, Hock has found her niche on the back row of the court for the Eagles. With a match-high 19 digs in a win at Wake Forest on Oct. 5, and 17 digs and six assists in a win at Duke on Oct. 6, Hock was honored to earn ACC Freshman of the Week for the week of October 1-7.
“That was really exciting, especially coming off of a win over Duke. That definitely helped our chances,” Hock said. “It’s the first time in BC history we have ever beaten Duke, and that’s probably the best game I’ve ever been able to play in, which was unreal. Topping off the week getting named ACC Freshman of the Week, I was honored.”
As a defensive specialist, a lot of responsibility on the court rests on the shoulders of Hock. In order for the Eagles to be successful, Hock relies on her high energy and composure to help lead the team.
“I coordinate the back row,” Hock said. “I play an energy role, so I try to keep the energy up on the court and use communication as much as I can while staying within myself.”
So far, Hock’s defensive leadership has proved effective for the Eagles. Aside from the program’s first-ever win over perennial ACC powerhouse Duke, BC has recorded quality victories over conference opponents Maryland, Virginia, and Wake Forest, as well as larger programs such as Mississippi State and George Washington. With such positive results, Hock is excited about the Eagles’ potential this year, as well as in the future.
“I think that, as a team, we are growing so much in just one season that the possibilities are endless,” Hock said. “The fact that it is such a young team is so exciting because I have three more years in this program. Already improving is really exciting for now and the future.”
With Hock continuing to direct traffic from the back row, the Eagles look to build off the improvement and tenacity they have shown so far this season. Through the support of her teammates and the school as a whole, Hock has been successful on the court, and looks to continue this success as she settles in from the West Coast.
“The community at BC has made the transition really easy,” Hock said. “The players on my team always have advice for how to get places and whatever I need, which has really helped. They’re honestly some of my best friends here.”