High school athletes play sports for various reasons, and Medora’s Katie Stewart says she plays volleyball to release pressure.

“Volleyball lets me release things I can’t do on a regular basis,” Stewart said. “It takes my mind off things. I enjoy coming to practice so I can be around my teammates, and they can help bring my spirits up. I enjoy having teammates bring me up after I’ve had a bad day at school. It helps friendships develop.”

On the court, the senior played variety of roles for the Hornets.

“I played all-around and I hit in all positions,” Stewart said. “I definitely like front row better than back row, I always have. I enjoy hitting the ball more than anything.”

Since her mother, Missy, is a coach, Stewart gained interested in the sport and started playing volleyball at a young age. Missy coaches the junior varsity team.

“I was playing when I was five or six, and then I played on a school team as soon as I was able,” Stewart said. “I think it is a good feeling because whenever I mess up I can talk to her at home about what I need to do. It helped me in the games.”

Stewart said that even when the Hornets didn’t win the first set of a match, she felt they were capable of rallying to win.

“It’s important, but you still have two sets afterwards in a tourney like (Henryville), and in the regular matches you have four more games,” Stewart said. “If you miss that first set you can still win the match, don’t ever give up.

When the Hornets communicated, they found more success.

“Communication is a vital part of volleyball, because if you don’t call the ball — if you don’t hear anything you don’t know if anyone is going to go — you just let the ball drop because you just think someone else is going to get it,” Stewart said. “Communication is the most important thing in volleyball. We use verbal signals mainly.”

For Stewart, practice makes perfect.

“Practice is really important because it helps you focus on what you need to fix, such as if you had a bad day hitting, you can come to practice the next day and figure out what’s wrong with it,” Stewart said. “(Also) where your set needs to be, if you need to take off earlier. Practice just helps you focus in on what you need to fix.”

Stewart said she has enjoyed her tenure at Medora.

“I’ve loved it: I wouldn’t ever change for another school,” Stewart said. “You know everyone and you can talk to your teachers. My senior class is only 19 people so you have better communication with each other. You don’t have to worry about not knowing everyone.

“I’ll definitely remember my teammates, and all the friendships I’ve developed.”

At a glance

Name: Katie Stewart

School: Medora High School

Parents: Ross and Missy Stewart

Sibling: Kirk

Sports: Volleyball, four years; basketball manager, three years

Organizations: Letter M Club, Beta Club, student council, class president

Plans after high school: Attend college

Favorite food: Mashed potatoes and gravy

Favorite TV show: “Bob’s Burgers”

Favorite singer: Blake Shelton

Favorite movie: “Step Brothers”

Favorite college team: Indiana Hoosiers

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.