Volleyball has become one of the most popular sports for girls at Saint Stephen’s and is one of only three athletic programs on campus fielding competitive teams at the middle school, freshman, junior varsity, and varsity levels.
The Falcons have generated a number of successful teams in recent years. SSES won its first district title in 2010 and followed that up with another in 2012. Those two championship teams produced four future collegiate players.
Tori Biach, who starred at Division II Northern State in South Dakota, was a four-year starter and a stalwart on those Saint Stephen’s teams. She was a three-time team MVP and all-county selection 2011 and 2012. Her career totals include 1,038 kills, 174 blocks and 162 aces. At NSU, Biach started more than 100 matches over four seasons and was a second team all-conference selection as a freshman in 2013.
Other Saint Stephen’s standouts have included two-year team captain Lauren Johnson (Rhodes College), Maggie Holbert (Randolph-Macon), and Bryce Liebel (Centre College).
The 2017 Falcons will look for consistency after an up-and-down 2016 season that finished with a 9-10 record. SSES was streaky throughout the campaign. After winning the first three matches in September, a four-match losing streak followed before the Falcons closed the regular season with four consecutive wins. An experienced lineup led by seniors Sophie Bilik and LaNae Jones should provide the leadership needed for the 2017 team to make a run toward the top of the district standings. The versatile Bilik is third on the school's all-time kills list with more than 750 and should once again be one of the area’s top players. Sophomores Kate Folkens and Sarah Stevens also return with a valuable year of playing together on their resume.
SSES is coached by Shameka Burdick, a three-year starter at the University of North Alabama who previously coached at University Christian School in Jacksonville and was a graduate assistant at Arkansas Tech University.
Volleyball is FHSAA sanctioned and is a fall season sport.