Alton, Illinois is home to a 5’10 women’s volleyball sophomore. Alton is a small town about an hour away from Greenville located on the Mississippi River. Emily Stahl is a starting middle blocker and a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Business. Her plan is to be a behavioral analyst for the FBI one day and be a club volleyball coach when she is older. Her club volleyball coach aspirations come from coaching last year and having the desire to pass on her knowledge of the game to young girls.
Emily Stahl’s love for volleyball, according to her, “stemmed from watching the Olympics in fourth grade and I just wanted to be like them. As most of us do, we take up a role model early and strive to be like them.” Throughout high school, Stahl played volleyball all four years, played club volleyball in the off season, and was a part of several school clubs – National Honors Society, physics club, and french club to name a few. She also graduated with honors and a 4.33 GPA.
Stahl attended a high school with a student population of 2011 students and graduated with a class size of 478. The first time she heard of Greenville was in her first year of club volleyball as a freshman in high school. One of her club coaches, Emily Thebeau, played for Greenville women’s volleyball team. What was it about Greenville that enticed her to come here? She answered, “I loved the atmosphere and the culture that surrounds Greenville. Everywhere you walk someone is willing to smile at you without a second thought, and that’s not a normal occurrence anywhere else. You just feel so welcomed as soon as you step on campus.”
When asked how her freshman year experience at Greenville was she tells us, “My freshman year at GU was great. I came in already knowing a few girls on the team which made it easier to transition to being away from home when your second family is right here with you.”
This past year, the women’s volleyball team made it to the NCAA tournament where they were matched against Calvin University out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Stahl tells us the NCAA tournament last year was her favorite volleyball experience at GU so far. “We played such good and strong volleyball, and we did it together,” says Stahl. With most students at Greenville playing sports, we know that athletics are important, but just how important are they to those who play? Stahl informs us that athletics have always been her escape, and she turns to volleyball when she is “frustrated or things just aren’t going right.”
Junior team captain Annie Jordan describes her fellow teammate. “She is a fierce competitor and someone who pushes us all to be better people both on and off the court.” Jordan also said that she is a consistent player who knows how to get the job done on the court. “She constantly puts a smile on my face during practice and I love being able to share the court with her.”
The Lady Panthers are back in action Thursday the 17th at Fontbonne and Friday the 18th at home against Eureka at 7pm.
Media by Hannah Krukewitt.