Athlete of the Week: UAA Volleyball’s Eve Stephens
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If one goes to a University of Alaska Anchorage volleyball game, there is no way one can miss Eve Stephens on the court, but people might not be able to see the ball when she hits it.
The hometown hitter is from in between Palmer and Wasilla but she says that Palmer claims her. She went to Colony High School where she grew up on the courts. She was named Northern Lights Conference Player of the Year as junior and senior after leading the school to back-to-back league titles.
“It’s awesome, playing here at UAA, being from Alaska — it’s great,” Stephens said. “Everyone knows your name and it’s like, just an honor to play in front of them.”
She is a senior in the classroom but a junior on the court with the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility. Stephens is third all-time for kills in Seawolf history, with 1,260 kills already. When people watch her, it seems like she never gets flustered no matter what the moment may be, but that wasn’t always the case.
“I think now when I step out on the court I have a little more confidence, a little more, like, proudness in myself,” Stephens said. “When I was a freshman I was just kind of glad to be on the court, see playing time, but now it’s like I have a bigger role.”
She has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s offensive player of the week once this year and seven times in her career. If Stephens keeps up this rate of play it is very likely that she will break the UAA all-time career kill record of 1,691 set by Jen Krupp, who played from 1988-92. As one of the leaders on the team, Stephens knows that people are watching her from inside the program and outside.
“I’m my own biggest critic at the end of the day, whether someone’s viewing how I play I’m probably already thinking it, so I think I try to stay level headed,” Stephens said
Keeping that level head has gotten Stephens into the Seawolf record books and helped make the 2020-21 team a force to be reckoned with.
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