Hoppe solidifying role on the team

Senior Sports Reporter
Erin Hoppe, sophomore setter, sets the ball Sept. 4 during a game.

The setter position is one that requires experience and chemistry with the rest of the team. For Erin Hoppe, sophomore setter, gaining the trust of her teammates has not been a problem.

Hoppe is a newcomer to the team after she decided to transfer to Texas State in January.

Since joining the team, Hoppe has begun battling Emily Shelton, junior setter, for a role.

Hoppe and Shelton know their playing time relies on how they perform.

The two athletes are not letting the competition between them impact their camaraderie.

“It’s been really cool competing with her and we know since it’s just us two that we need to push each other,” Hoppe said. “We’ve been so supportive of each other, and we have become really good friends.”

Before Hoppe became a volleyball player for Texas State, she attended the Air Force Academy.

Hoppe left because she decided being in the military is not what she wants to do, and she left with no regrets.

It was difficult for Hoppe to get off the team at the academy because she needed to be released by her coach in order to transfer. Emily Hoppe, the athlete’s mother, said the process was difficult.

Erin Hoppe was eventually freed from her commitment and allowed to transition to a better situation for her.

“A couple of schools really wanted her, but she wanted to go to Texas State,” Emily Hoppe said. “We were so excited that she was going to be close to home and we can go watch her a lot more now.”

Erin decided to live in San Marcos, but had never visited prior to moving there. Erin said it was a “crazy rush” but she was able to make it work.

“She left the academy on January 21, and right when she got home we packed up her things and moved down to San Marcos,” Emily Hoppe said. “We relied on fate that she would be happy at Texas State and luckily she’s loved it there.”

Erin Hoppe was able to squeak in on the last day transfer students were allowed.

She enrolled in classes and the athlete’s first day of school was the day after she moved.

“I love being here and playing for this team,” Erin Hoppe said. “Colorado is beautiful and I’m going to miss that, but it’s not too bad here either.”

While attending her previous school, Erin Hoppe went through basic training programs that were preparing her for a life in military.

Erin Hoppe went through the programs with other girls that she became good friends with.

“When you go through something like that with those girls, you don’t build any friendship like it,” the athlete said.

The program was tough, but Erin Hoppe’s father, Curtis Hoppe, helped her through it by drawing from his experience in the Army.

Curtis Hoppe was in the Army Reserve for nine years and went through ROTC programs while in college.

The athlete’s father was supportive of any decision she made, even if it meant his daughter wouldn’t be following his steps into the military.

“He impacted her decision to go (to the Air Force Academy) some,” Emily Hoppe said. “She mainly went there just to play volleyball.”

Erin Hoppe is majoring in both psychology and English.

“I’m so happy that I’m here playing volleyball and getting an education,” Erin Hoppe said. “I can’t wait to see how the rest of my days at Texas State turn out.”

Erin Hoppe and Emily Shelton are still neck and neck for the starting setter position. However, Erin Hoppe might have taken a step towards winning the role after playing 18 sets in the team’s last five matches and recording a career-high of 46 assists against South Dakota State.

Follow Matt Gurevitz on Twitter at @Matt_Gurevitz.