Serving up the big plays

by Dustin Smothers

It takes attitude to play any sport. Some sports requiredifferent levels and brands of attitude. This year Storm volleyballplayer Shannon Stewart has shown real attitude on and off thecourt.

However, a negative attitude is not what comes to mind whentalking about Stewart, a senior outside hitter.

When Stewart sprained her ankle earlier this season, her firstreaction was aggravation, but she didn’t dwell on it too long.

“I became selfish – it was my senior year but I had to tellmyself to get over it,” Stewart said. “I just tried to be moresupportive of the team.”

Stewart returned to the court this year an All-American. She wasselected as a third-team American Volleyball Coaches AssociationAll-American her junior season.

Along with her All-American honors, Stewart was named IowaConference Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Region andAll-Conference. She was also named AVCA Division III NationalPlayer of the Week last year.

“I’ve been playing volleyball since fourth grade,” Stewartsaid.

Apparently all those years of hard work are paying off for her:This season she became only the fifth Storm player to accumulateover 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.

She currently has 1,297 kills and 1,124 digs.

“She is a good leader, she makes everyone feel like part of theteam,” freshman Ashley Katch said. “She has a huge impact on theteam, and she has helped make it a stronger program.”

Stewart, a marketing major, would like to coach volleyball aftershe is done at Simpson.

“I want to stay involved, I love the game and I love the sport,”Stewart said.

Katch said that Stewart’s future plans fit well with herpersonality and ability.

“She is a good example to watch and learn from,” Katch said.

Stewart definitely set a good example last year – she led theconference in kills and had 31 kills against Nebraska Wesleyan,which is a personal career high and also the 36th most incollegiate volleyball in any division.

Stewart considers her parents role models.

“My parents have always been there to support me,” Stewart said.”They kept me grounded.”

She said her parents helped her get where she is today

“The reason people succeed is because of the people aroundthem.” Stewart said.