Longview native, SFA alum Ann Hollas’ success goes beyond the court

Longview native, SFA alum Ann Hollas’ success goes beyond the court
Ann Hollas in action during the 2019 season (Source: SFA Athletics)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Ann Hollas will go down as one of the great players and leaders for the SFA volleyball but what she is doing off the court is more important than any stat or award.

As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into the summer, Hollas is preparing to go to medical school.

“People are going to be relying on the medical field, not just for coronavirus but for so many things," Hollas said. “Your health is a gift so to give that back to so many people is so special. I am not nervous. I am excited for the challenge. I am not sure of a specialty but I enjoyed watching surgery when I was able to observe.”

The Spring Hill graduate had a good career at SFA. It all started her freshman year getting the Southland Freshman of the Year honor. It only improved. Her junior year she was an All-American. Her senior year she brought home an honorable mention All-American award. In those two final seasons she help lead the Ladyjacks to a 32-0 record and back-to-back berths in the NCAA National Tournament.

“All those qualities that she has as a human being she was able to bring to us on the court but her best days are ahead of her,” SFA head coach Debby Humphreys said. “You cannot replace her. She has taught the younger girls what is expected and how to play the game and how to be a leader off the court.”

Hollas’ biggest accomplishment though might have been signing up with ‘Be a Match’ when she was a freshman.

“I saw a signup on campus for the group when I was a freshman so I signed my name,” Hollas said."They have a tent set up for about a week every year. I had forgot about it until I got the call earlier this year. I was surprised because I forgot about it. After that shock I was super excited to help someone."

Hollas was matched with a 6 year-old boy that is battling Leukemia. Her bone marrow could go on and save his life.

“It is such a good thing," Hollas said. “Being healthy is such a gift and I think that you should take advantage of it. Why not bring hope and options to someone that is sick. Thinking back on that I wonder if I had not gone to SFA would I have signed up and would this little boy have a match at all. I think God has lined up everything perfectly.”

In nine months, Hollas hopes that she will be able to meet the person she has helped.

“There is a confidentiality agreement for that time,” Hollas said. “We are able to write each other with very limited details. I cannot wait to get to tell him about me and see how he is doing.”

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