Stephanie Natale, Glenelg, volleyball

Q & A--

November 15, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

Glenelg's Stephanie Natale, who didn't start playing volleyball until ninth grade, had a breakthrough senior season in her first year on varsity. In helping the No. 7 Gladiators (12-5) reach the Class 2A South regional championship (which they lost in five games to county rival Reservoir), the 5-foot-10 outside hitter finished the season with a team-leading 249 kills and 330 digs. Natale, a member of the Time Out for Sports club team, likely will accept a partial scholarship to play at Shepherd College in West Virginia. She is considering a major in English and is interested in photography.

What is it about volleyball that caught your attention?

I think it's because everybody kept telling me to try out because of my height, and then once I started, I loved it. When I first tried out in the ninth grade, I was horrible. I couldn't serve the ball over the net, my hits weren't good - I was just clueless. And then I got to club and kept getting better.

What made you stick with it?

Everybody told me they saw potential, and I saw potential in myself to keep going.

What is the feeling like when you get the perfect set and pound it down?

It's amazing. Every time I get a great set, I just know that something good is going to come out of it because the other team sees it's a great set, and they can't get ready for what's coming.

How exciting is it to get a scholarship offer to play volleyball after just starting to play as a freshman?

I definitely owe a lot of it to the good coaches I've had. I never expected that I would be able to play at college, let alone a Division II school. It's a nice weight lifted off my shoulders, just to know that I'm wanted by a school, and I don't have to worry about going out and finding one.

What was your best moment on the volleyball court this season?

We lost the first two games to River Hill [during the regular season] and we were down 24-13 in the third game, and just won point after point to win that game. I got the last point to make it 26-24. It was a block and it just felt great. Then we went on to win the next two games. When that happened, we all knew that if we could do that, we could do anything because I don't think many people have seen a comeback like that. We just knew we had the fight in us to keep on going. I'm still shocked.

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