ASU volleyball's Halle Harker moves to third in career digs in program history

Senior libero Halle Harker also earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors

For senior libero Halle Harker, success on the court does not originate only from her own hard work. In fact, she says that it boils down to her coaching staff and teammates who lead her to her achievements.

Following a terrific 61 dig outing in the UT Arlington Maverick Classic this past weekend, Harker earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors, which was announced by the league on Monday, Sept. 18. 

That was not the only feat that Harker accomplished over the weekend. She also tallied her career digs total to 1,633, which placed her third in the program's history, as well as 22nd in digs per set in NCAA rankings.

Harker’s teammate and fellow senior Oluoma Okaro was not surprised by her teammate's feat. 

“She’s a really great leader,” Okaro said. “She holds people accountable, and that's one thing I really, really like about her. She doesn't care who you are — senior, freshman, starter and nonstarter — she'll always hold you accountable.”

The middle blocker said that she believes Harker holds her teammates accountable to the same standards she sets for herself, and that is what allows her to grow as an athlete.

“She knows certain things that cannot be tolerated,” Okaro said. “Because of that, I think that helps her prepare to get herself better to where she's at right now.”

Head coach Sanja Tomasevic agrees that Harker deserved to reach this milestone and solidify her name in the record books, because of who she is both on and off the court.

“Halle is a special person, she’s a special player, and I can't wait to see what (she) does after she's done, because she's going to make an impact in people's lives,” Tomasevic said. “She asks good questions and she leads the team in a good way.”

Tomasevic said Harker will be missed on the court next season.

“She’s someone that’s going to be difficult to replace next year, not only as a player but as a person,” Tomasevic said.

Along with being among the NCAA active career leaders in digs, Harker produced 102 total assists in her 2016 campaign, and has 40 assists this season.

Harker said that she is fortunate to have had three different coaches while attending ASU, each filling her with confidence.

“It's so important as a student of the game to just have a coach that truly does believe in you and cares about you, not just about volleyball, but life in general,” Harker said.

Harker said Tomasevic continues to have a monumental impact on her, just like her two previous coaches at ASU. 

“Every single night, she'll send me a text like, 'Hal, keep working hard.' Every day she’ll tell me, ‘You're the best libero in the conference,’ and whether she truly believes that or not, I don't know — but she's telling me those things,” Harker said. “I think when you hear these things over time, multiple times a day, then you start to believe it yourself.”

The senior libero does not like to get too “wrapped up” in her records but says that she is gratified to be in a place where she can do great things.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be set in this position and to have this platform, it truly is an honor,” Harker said. “I care about my teammates and the relationships I’m making with them, as well as keeping the relationship with my coaches and if great things happen from that, then so be it.” 

Harker and the rest of the Sun Devils will be returning back to Wells Fargo on Thursday to begin their 2017 Pac-12 Slate. Their opening match will be against rival Arizona for the 2017-18 Territorial Cup season opener. The game will begin at 8 p.m. and is viewable on the Pac-12 Networks.


Reach the reporter at klbroder@asu.edu or follow @KellyB1459 on Twitter.

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