The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


    Athletic Spotlight: Stephanie Willis

    "In order to be an admirable athlete, you must have a passion for your sport." This is the phrase that freshperson Stephanie Willis, newcomer to the Lady Devils volleyball team, keeps in mind every time she steps on the volleyball court.

    "You have to love the game," said Willis.

    Born and raised in Desoto, Texas, Willis has always had love for the game of volleyball. Willis began her volleyball career in seventh grade at Desoto East Junior High. She continued to enhance her skills by playing the right-side and defense positions for four years at Desoto High School.

    "Volleyball is fun and competitive, I love it!" Willis said.

    Prior to the game, Willis, along with her teammate Brittney Neveaux, listen to the smooth sounds of Anthony Hamilton’s "Charlene" to get them ready for the game. Willis also takes time to out to pray.

    "I pray and ask God to watch over us. I ask that we won’t have any injuries and that we have a victory," said Willis.

    When game time arrives, Willis feels confident, ready to win and she keeps a positive attitude.
    "I feel too smooth to be embarrassed. I feel like they can’t fade me," said Willis.

    Willis compares playing volleyball to that of having a job.

    "Like a job, everyone has their role. If you don’t perform on the job then you don’t get paid. In volleyball, if you don’t perform on the court, then you don’t play," said Willis.

    According to Willis, it is a necessity to be competitive and dedicated in order to be an exceptional athlete. She also feels that she embodies the qualities necessary to be a good role model.

    "I am committed, trustworthy, down to earth, caring and encouraging," Willis said.

    Both Willis’ teammates and coach say that it is a pleasure to have her on the team.

    "She is an aggressive player. We need her personality on the team," said teammate Candice Hairston, "She does her best at all times."

    "Stephanie is a very athletic player. She brings a lot to our defense. She’s short but she plays big," said coach Javonne Butler.

    Some of Willis’ role models include her parents Charles and JoEtta Willis.

    "They have supported me thus far. I know that they’ll be there for me through whatever," Willis said.

    She also admires her coach Javonne Butler. According to Willis, she reminds her of her high school coach Dedra Brown.

    "I love her. She keeps it real. She tells you about your mistakes and praises you for your efforts," said Willis.

    While playing for the Lady Blue Devil volleyball team, Willis hopes to win conference championship.

    "I want to win. We just need to keep improving and build from our mistakes," Willis said.

    Upon graduation, Willis plans to go to medical school in hopes of becoming an optometrist.

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    Athletic Spotlight: Stephanie Willis