Avery Stanfill Shines on Varsity Volleyball as a Freshman


Brooke Highmark

Avery Stanfill, freshman, prepares to serve the ball in one of the first varsity games this season.

Freshman Avery Stanfill has already become a key player on the girl’s volleyball team as a rookie. Her fine-tuned skills combined with many years of experience have made her stand out from the rest. She has led the team in digs this season, as she plays libero, and she also leads the team in serves.

Stanfill’s volleyball journey, for both school and club, began when she was just nine years old, and her dad began coaching her from the very start. “He always tells me that there are two things you can control: attitude and effort. He also tells all of his teams that they should fight to win, but it’s okay to lose if you gave your very best effort.”

Stanfill has not always been a libero. In fact, she was an outside hitter and a setter before switching to this position. She picked up being a libero at 13 when she tried out for a highly selective team. “I had never played libero before, but I figured that it was my best chance because of my height and skills,” said Stanfill.

Since then, Stanfill has earned many accomplishments for someone her age. She earned a spot on the USA High Performance team and got to train on a college campus in Pennsylvania for five days with other talented players. Additionally, she was chosen to represent Missouri and travel to Barcelona to compete next summer. “While we’re there, we’ll get to not only play volleyball but also explore Spanish culture.”

Lastly, and obviously, she made the varsity volleyball team as a freshman. Making varsity was an especially difficult task due to the ten seniors and few spots available. However, Stanfill’s talent could not be denied.

So far, her season has been solid. Stanfill’s experience overall has been exceedingly beneficial. “Being on varsity has been so much fun. I was curious to see how the season would start out since we have ten seniors. But, they have been great teammates on and off the court. It’s a lot of fun to play volleyball at a high level in school, especially because our elementary and middle school teams were almost never challenged by other teams,” Stanfill explained.

Stanfill hopes to not only shine on the court but also inspire younger players who hope to be in the same position as she is today. “My advice to younger players would be to be a great teammate, play hard, and have fun. If you’re not having fun, there’s no point in playing. You should fight for your teammates and not just yourself. In order to play at a high level, you have to have a great attitude and a drive to compete.”

Stanfill doesn’t plan to stop her volleyball career anytime soon. “I hope to play volleyball in college someday. If it’s a good fit, I want to play at a D1 school.”

Stanfill might still be a new and fairly unknown player to the Westminster community, but she will continue to make a name for herself through her exceptional talent and uncommon work ethic.