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Volleyball senior puts career goals first

Volleyball senior Stephanie Hattey recently made a strong decision deciding between her final season as a Griffon and her future career.

Hattey, a three-year starter for Western, started her senior season this fall with a lot of hype surrounding her playing abilities.

Praised as “one of the most versatile players in the MIAA” after her freshman season, Hattey quickly became a familiar name on the roster.

As a freshman, she played as both a setter and an outside hitter. Starting 28 of the 29 games that season, she played in all 107 sets on the season. She finished with a .220 hitting percentage and 637 assists. Racking up 26 aces on the season helped her finish second on the team. She would place third on the team with 245 digs and 40 blocks. Hattey earned MIAA Freshman of the Year and numerous Honorable Mention honors.

Hattey had two career games that season. She recorded double-digit kills 12 times on the season, with her career high of 18 coming against Upper Iowa. She also had double-digit kills in nine games. Her career high 13 kills came against Pittsburgh State.

In her sophomore season, Hattey started all 31 games and played in all 119 sets. She led the team with 1214 set assists, averaging 10.2 assists per set. Hattey finished second on the team with 380 digs and 57 blocks. She also managed 19 service aces on the season. She was named third team All-MIAA.

Her third career game would come against Pittsburgh State again. Hattey recorded a total of 60 assists in the game.

Hattey started all 32 matches during her junior season and participated in all 115 sets. She would be the only Griffon to start every game that season. She led the team for the third straight year in assists, collecting 656 with an average of 5.7 assists per set. A total of 243 kills placed her second on the team. Hattey also collected 369 digs and 46 blocks for the season. She was named Honorable Mention All-MIAA and NSU/Dacotah Bank Classic All-Tournament MVP.

The first four matches of the season were for the Pittsburgh State Invitational in Pittsburgh, KS. Hattey participated in all four matches and all 14 sets. Through those games, Western went 2-2. Hattey collected a total of 22 kills, 30 digs and four service aces. She also had 95 assists during the matches.

The news came to the team before practice one night. Hattey announced that she would no longer be playing for the team. She had decided that her future career was more important.

As a nursing major, Hattey needed to attend clinicals in Kansas City everyday. Between those, games, practice and all of her other classes, she decided her dream to one day be a pediatric nurse practitioner was more important to focus on.

Head coach Marian Carbin said, “The team was prepared for Stephanie to step back. They were aware of her school schedule beforehand and were not surprised by it.”

Hattey, who was officially removed from the 2013 roster a couple weeks ago, has been named as a student assistant to the team. She sits alongside the team at almost every game to help them stay motivated and help coach Carbin.

“Rotations changed. So we kind of just had to adjust and practice,” outside hitter Erin Backhuus said. “We worked the kinks out, so it’s pretty smooth sailing right now.”

Since Hattey stepped down, the Griffons have gone 3-6. However, all three victories have come with in the last five games.

“The team handled it very well, and although we had a tough start, we were able to pull through,” Carbin said.
There are no hard feelings on team. Hattey declined to comment on her decision, because she only wants the attention going to the team and their successes.
Her teammates only have nice things to say.
“It was a tough loss for us, physically and emotionally. She’s such a great part of our team,” setter Kelly Scannell said. “But we all support her decision.”

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