The Cabrini women’s volleyball team has a new career kill leader. Graduate student and outside hitter Hannah Dalton broke the record in the Atlantic East Conference championship match against Marymount. She ends her career with 1,414 career kills, Making her one of the most decorated players in program history.
One last dance
Last year, in her senior season, Dalton led the entire NCAA across Division I, Division II, and Division III in total kills. She also became the sixth player in program history to receive the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American recognition.
“Coming back for a fifth year felt like a no-brainer, in all honesty. When COVID-19 hit and took away our 2020 season, I wanted to do whatever I could to make the most of my career and reach my full potential. Especially coming off of the 2021 season, I knew how great I felt physically,” Dalton said.
Sophomore middle hitter Amanda Purdy said, “I’m glad Hannah came back for another year. I look up to her as a player and her leadership on the court will be hard to replace.”
Dalton amassed a total of 499 kills this season. For people who don’t know, a volleyball kill is given to a player when an attack is unreturnable by the other team, or any time the attack causes an error by the opposing team.
A long journey to 1,414
Breaking the record wasn’t always a goal for Dalton. She came into the program as a middle blocker, a position that doesn’t get as many kills as an outside hitter.
“I wasn’t sure if it was possible after only playing the position for two years. Once I transitioned to outside hitter, it became a goal of mine,” Dalton said.
Dalton’s volleyball journey started when her travel softball coaches cut her from the eighth-grade team.
“Without them letting me go, I don’t know how my volleyball career would’ve looked,” she said.
Since then, Dalton never looked back and decided to dedicate her time to volleyball. She has worked with a strength coach for the past two years and spent countless hours playing volleyball.
However, she owes her success to the support of her family and friends.
“Their support has been unwavering and more appreciated than they will ever possibly know,” Dalton said.
The record-breaking game
Dalton’s record-breaking kill came in her last home game. She went into the game tied with Steph Junkins, who played on the team from 2017-2021. Both athletes had 1,358 kills.
“It was definitely surreal. It was exciting leading up to the game because I knew I was going to hit it with my first kill that afternoon,” Dalton said.
Dalton’s career is filled with awards, MVP trophies, and she reached All-American status, but she had one last record to break this season. The record-breaking kill came in the first set of the match, bringing the Cavaliers back within one point of tying the set. Dalton celebrated by pointing to the crowd but then got right back to focusing on the championship game.
“I was more focused on the next play of the game. There was a quick moment when I made eye contact with my mom in the stands and I could tell how proud she was of me, so that was really special. Looking back, I’m very proud of myself, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Dalton said.
After becoming the runner-up in the AEC, the volleyball team got a bid into the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament, where they advanced past Saint Vincent and Penn State Behrend in the preliminary rounds.
The team fell to Kean in the tournament final. In her last game in the blue and white, Dalton tied the match high of 14 kills. She ends her career with 1,414 kills (first all-time), 147 aces (fifth), 283 blocks (third), and 3,810 total attacks.
“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches at Cabrini. It was an amazing journey to grow with them on and off the court, and they had a tremendous influence on my transformation since coming into the program at 18 years old,” Dalton said.