The Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's volleyball team has landed its first recruit for the 2002 season with the addition of Amanda Stevens.
Stevens, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently finished her junior year at Centerburg High School. The 6-foot middle hitter led the Trojans to a Mid-Buckeye Conference title as the team won 29 matches in a row in advancing to the Division IV state tournament before finishing the season as the state runner-up with a 29-1 record. Stevens posted 99 blocks, 153 digs, and 249 digs as she was named the MBC Player of the Year and a First Team All-Ohioan.
"I am really excited to get Amanda signed to join our program," said MVNC head coach Paul Swanson. "She is a tremendous athlete, but she is also a committed Christian young woman. She has all the attributes in a player that we are looking for."
"It has been a very unusual recruiting process," added Swanson, who has known Stevens since she started attending his summer camps at an early age. "She has practiced with our team a lot through the years, and she has seen me in both practice settings and the personal setting. I have no hesitation about having her on our team. It is a great situation when you know the player this well. The hard part will be waiting another year to have her join us."
In addition to playing volleyball, Stevens is also a standout on the Centerburg girls' basketball team. She was inducted into National Honor Society this year, and she was also selected as a Prom Princess. She has participated on the LOCO club volleyball team for four years including the team that posted a 28-0 record and won the Ohio Valley Regional Tournament in 2001.
"I have chosen to attend MVNC because it is a wonderful Christian college," said Stevens, who plans to major in Elementary Education. "It has been a childhood dream of mine since I started going to volleyball camps there in the third grade. I love the way the players encourage each other, include new players who come in, and not only make each other better players, but better people. I want to be a part of that."
MVNC posted a 38-12 overall record this past season and won a share of its third straight American Mideast Conference title. In postseason play, the Lady Cougars won the AMC Tournament, advanced to the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association national tournament, and played in the finals of the NAIA Region IX Tournament.