Sarah Stauffer, senior at Centerville High School, will continue her academic and volleyball career. She recently applied to attend the Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a place she thought would be a good fit for her.
Stauffer said she has always had KVCC in her plans for the next level because of their good dental program. The Centerville senior plans to eventually become a dental hygienist and KVCC was a solid choice to start in that program.
“I didn’t want to go too far or too big, I knew I wanted to keep playing volleyball too,” she said. “So I went to visit. I knew they had a good dental education, but I also really liked the campus. Coach was straight forward with me. I decided I wanted to keep playing, so why not?”
Stauffer has been playing volleyball all her life. That includes time in AAU and for Deric Mostrom in Centerville. The high school portion of her career is over, but Stauffer still competes for the Joe Valley Volleyball Club.
“Life is boring if I’m not playing volleyball,” she said, followed by a laugh. “Volleyball is all I’ve ever known, really.”
Stauffer, a good student, said her decision to potentially become a dental hygienist was an easy one. It’s also an arrangement she made with herself and dates back to her younger years.
She said brushing her teeth was always something she enjoyed, so why not?
Back on the volleyball court, Stauffer played four years for current Centerville coach Mostrom.
He said Stauffer’s consistency was something that helped her to the next level.
“She consistently did her best to become the best player she could be,” he said. “Through everything, she has grown year after year in both her standards and her understanding of the game. I think she has an urge and a push to be able to continue to do that.”
KVCC volleyball coach Jennifer Buikema noted that Stauffer fits the role of the type of player the Cougars are recruiting.
Buikema and the Cougar program have been watching Stauffer for a few years now. The program has a solid rapport with Centerville, and the two coaches often talk about players coming up through the Bulldog system.
“What I like about her is that she is flexible in her attacks and she is a smart player,” said Buikema. “She may not be the most powerful player out there, but she sees the field very well. At the university level, it’s not always about power. A lot of girls come in and just want to put the ball on the ground, but in university it’s more difficult. So being able to see the field on the other side and use that to her advantage is something we’re looking forward to.”
Stauffer is grateful for Mostrom’s continued support and her push to become the best player she could be.
“Since I was in eighth he saw something in me, he kept pushing me and he was very hard on me at times,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, so I’m very grateful to him.”
When it comes to continuing to play AAU ball, Stauffer said she can always improve her overall game. Knowing that she will continue her volleyball career at KVCC, Stauffer wants to improve her skills before entering the campus.
Mostrom said KVCC is a good place for Stauffer.
“Yeah, it suits her well. I think she got a real urge to play on after our district loss when she thought it was all over,” he said. “She’s made some good strides and I think it will do her good.”
As her time in high school draws to a close, Stauffer thought about the impact that will have on her when it ends.
“The friendships I will miss, the energy the crowd had when we played, everyone was always so supportive,” she said. “It’s a bit bittersweet. It’s a bit sad to leave, but also very exciting knowing that I will continue to make strides forward.”
Stauffer was voted Second Team All-State by the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association for Division 3 last year.