AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was another historic season for Sweet Home girls volleyball.
The Panthers went undefeated in the regular season, won the Section VI title and finished the year 18-1. Their only loss came in the Far West Regionals and senior Madison Hanaka was a huge reason for their success.
She excels on the court and in the classroom making her this month’s female scholar athlete.
“I definitely get very intense on the court. In practice, I definitely don’t seem it or on the sideline but on the court I definitely get very into the game,” Madison told News 4 Sports.
“So Madison is a silent but deadly player so she’s a player of few words but she shows the intensity in her level of play. The way she elevates when she’s in the front row, she skies off the floor. And then when she gets a kill or if something goes well she gets very excited with her team,” head coach Breean Martin said.
Madison has been a three year starter for the Panthers and a co-captain the past two seasons. On top of that, she manages a 99 GPA.
“It’s definitely time management, it’s a lot of late nights of staying up but you know you just have to get it done and persevere through everything. I definitely like to think about my end goal and what motivates me,” Madison explained.
One of those motivating factors is getting into the Naval Academy.
“Two of my cousins went to the Naval Academy. They definitely inspired me and pushed me to go ahead and apply. Also what the Naval Academy offers, their academics, their athletics and just becoming a leader in our country is an amazing thing,” Madison said.
“Madison is a special kid when it comes to the goal that she has for herself for the Naval Academy, that’s not something that comes along a lot in life like she’s kind of one in a million,” Coach Martin said.
Madison also stays busy with chemistry and running club, National Honor Society and she’s the President of Spanish club.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.