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Senior Salute: Beach Volleyball

With the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent response across the country, all collegiate athletic events were effectively shut down in mid-March. Not only did that deny our spring sports student-athletes an opportunity to finish their seasons, it also prevented thousands of seniors across the country from being honored one last time as part of traditional Senior Day festivities.

Here at Stetson University, we wanted to bring attention to our seniors one last time. Today we turn our attention to beach volleyball.

Left to right: Sunnive Helland-Hansen, Katinka Krahn and Carly Perales have been critical to the team’s success.

Stetson’s success over the past three seasons would not have been possible without these three seniors. The Hatters have won three ASUN Regular Season Championships, 3 ASUN Conference Championships, and 88 overall matches. Stetson has been ranked in the Top 20 of the AVCA poll every week, finishing as high as No. 6 in the 2019 final poll. The Hatters earned their second NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019 and pulled off a historic upset with a 3-1 win over No. 1 seed USC in the opening round. Stetson also went a perfect 37-0 against ASUN competition. 

Kristina Hernandez

“These three seniors have been really important to us overall in terms of our program development, and just a very strong class in terms of their leadership, their commitment and their work ethic. I know a lot of our team looked up to them, and I think they are a good reflection of what it means to be in our program.”

Head Coach Kristina Hernandez

Katinka Krahn

Our first senior is Katinka Krahn.  A native of Oslo, Norway, Krahn joined the Hatters as a sophomore after playing two seasons of indoor volleyball at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.  

As a sophomore, she went 11-6 overall and 5-1 in ASUN play, helping Stetson clinch the ASUN regular season championship on the final weekend of the season.  As a junior she earned victories over No. 17 FAU and later over Coastal Carolina in the ASUN quarterfinal round. Overall, she recorded 14 match victories in her three seasons.  She is completing her degree in Environmental Science. 

Katinka Krahn

“She was just one of those people that always wanted extra work. If we told her we were going to be out (at the courts), she was always out there. She was probably one of the strongest workers on our team, and really pushed a lot of people.”

Head Coach Kristina Hernandez

Carly Perales

Our next senior is Carly Perales.  A native of Round Rock, Texas, Perales has been a four-year starter for the Hatters. Her 84 career wins ranks fifth in school history among all individuals, and it is far and away the school and conference record for any pair.  

Carly Perales

Along with Sunniva Helland-Hansen, Perales has earned two AVCA National Pair of the Week honors, two ASUN Pair of the Tournament awards, two ASUN First Team All-Conference accolades, and five ASUN Pair of the Week selections. The pair earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2019 after going 27-12 and helping lead Stetson to their second NCAA Championship appearance. In front of a national ESPN audience, Perales and Helland-Hansen played on Court 1 as Stetson upset No. 1 ranked USC in the first round of the championship. 

Perales earned ASUN Pair of the Tournament honors as a freshman and as a sophomore to help lead Stetson to conference titles in 2017 and 2018. Her 32 wins in 2018 tied a school single-season record. She was the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year in 2020 and went 12-2 this past season, earning National Player of the Week honors on March 10. Perales is graduating with a degree in Studio Arts with a minor in Psychology.

“Carly has really grown and developed over her time here. You can see that from every single year. A really special athlete. She is very quick, athletic and fun to watch.”

Head Coach Kristina Hernandez

Sunnive Helland-Hansen

Our final senior is Sunnive Helland-Hansen. A native of Oystese, Norway, Helland-Hansen has also been a four-year starter with the Hatters. She is just one of two players in school history to record 90 career wins, and her 84 victories with Carly Perales is far and away the school and conference record for any pair. Along with Perles, Helland-Hansen has earned two AVCA National Pair of the Week honors, two ASUN Pair of the Tournament awards, two ASUN First Team All-Conference accolades, and five ASUN Pair of the Week selections.  

Sunnive Helland-Hansen

The pair earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2019 after going 27-12 and helping lead Stetson to their second NCAA Championship appearance. In front of a national ESPN audience, Helland-Hansen and Perales played on Court 1 as Stetson upset No. 1 ranked USC in the first round of the championship.  

Helland-Hansen earned ASUN Pair of the Tournament honors as a freshman and as a sophomore to help lead Stetson to conference titles in 2017 and 2018. She was ASUN Freshman of the Year in 2017 and her 32 wins in 2018 tied a school single-season record. She went 12-2 this past season, earning National Player of the Week honors on March 10. Helland-Hansen is graduating with a degree in Sociology. 

“She has been an amazing leader and captain for our program over the past four years. She has been a tireless worker and has an amazing work ethic. She has really helped transform our program and helped us get to the next level.”

Head Coach Kristina Hernandez

GoHatters.com

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