Kills and Thrills


Posted on June 28, 2024
Michelle Matthews


Hannah Maddux, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Alabama, was drafted to the Vegas Thrill in the inaugural season of the new Pro Volleyball Federation. She plans eventually to go into sports broadcasting.  data-lightbox='featured'
Hannah Maddux, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Alabama, was drafted to the Vegas Thrill in the inaugural season of the new Pro Volleyball Federation. She plans eventually to go into sports broadcasting. Photo courtesy of the Pro Volleyball Federation.

#MyFirstJob is a series focused on recent graduates of the University of South Alabama. Hannah Maddux also was featured in the spring edition of South Magazine.

Hannah Maddux, a standout player on the University of South Alabama Jaguars volleyball team, was drafted to the Vegas Thrill as a fifth-year player in the inaugural season of the new Pro Volleyball Federation.

Throughout the 2024 season, from February through May, the 6’2” outside hitter thrilled crowds as part of the Vegas Thrill, one of seven teams that debuted in the women’s professional indoor volleyball league.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from South, Maddux continued her education with a master’s degree in strategic communications. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to attend her May 4 graduation because she had two games left to play in the season — but her teammates celebrated her anyway at practice, surprising her with champagne, a pink cap and gown, and a video montage from her friends and family congratulating her.

Originally from Texas, Maddux was recruited by South as a high school player. “I wanted to go somewhere I’d make an impact,” she said. “I loved the campus when I came and toured. It was forest-like, yet near the beach. I loved being at South.”

Her undergraduate experience taught her “so many valuable life lessons,” she said — such as how to move away from home, live somewhere new and start on a new team, all lessons that were important when she was drafted and moved to Las Vegas earlier this year. She was able to finish her last two classes remotely, in a directed study, during the spring semester.

Maddux’s dream when she started college was to go into sports broadcasting, and it’s still her plan after she plays professional volleyball for as long as she can. Eventually, she hopes to call college volleyball and other sports.

“Having ‘pro athlete’ by your name is like having a Ph.D.,” she said. “I have made so many connections. Vegas is a huge hot spot for sports. It’s a really exciting city to be a part of.”

During volleyball season, her days start at 7 a.m. with weightlifting, followed by practice from 9 a.m. to noon, with the rest of the day to herself. She also does interviews, makes public appearances and participates in community outreach.

With the league’s seven teams spread out all over the country, “There’s a lot of travel,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many flights I’ve been on over the last four months.”

She was excited to be part of the inaugural season of a professional volleyball organization in the United States. “It’s a huge part of women’s sports history,” she said. “Our players are household names now.” The most fulfilling thing for her is “seeing all these little girls having people to look up to.”

Maddux finished her first season with the Vegas Thrill on May 11 in Orlando and signed a contract extension with the league for next season.

For now, she’s enjoying playing a sport she loves for four months out of the year, with the off-season free to do whatever she wants. This summer she is back in Mobile, helping with volleyball camps and spending as much time as possible at the beach.

At South, Maddux led the team’s offense to the NCAA Tournament and was a 2023 First-Team All-Sun Belt selection. She was one of the most prolific players in program history, finishing top-10 in career block assists and kills per set and top five in total kills and total attempts, while also contributing to both of South Alabama’s NCAA Tournament appearances under Coach Jesse Ortiz.


Share on Social Media

Archive Search

Latest University News

  • University of South Alabama marine science students take fish samples at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo to study reproductive dynamics and basic life history.

    'Fishmas' in July  
    July 23, 2024

    For 35 years, South's marine science students have looked forward...
  • Caroline Locke, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of South Alabama, works with children in rehabilitation services at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

    Tuned In  
    July 17, 2024

    Speech pathology graduate Caroline Locke turns her South degrees and p...
  • Luke Thomas, a University of South Alabama graduate, at his job at USA Health University Hospital

    Picking Up the Pace  
    July 8, 2024

    A full-time day shift in the emergency department at USA Health Univer...
  • Hannah Maddux, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Alabama, was drafted to the Vegas Thrill in the inaugural season of the new Pro Volleyball Federation. She plans eventually to go into sports broadcasting.

    Kills and Thrills  
    June 28, 2024

    Hannah Maddux, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at...