« Volleyball 2019

Stephanie Williams

School

University of Pittsburgh

Position
Outside Hitter
Major
Exercise Science

Classroom

In addition to being one of the most athletically decorated student-athletes in Pitt volleyball history, Stephanie Williams has earned a plethora of academic accolades over the last four years. She is a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic Team, one of just two Panthers in program history to earn the accolades three times. She holds a 3.627 cumulative GPA and will graduate in the fall of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a certificate in conceptual foundations of medicine. She is a four-time member of the ACC Honor Roll and has earned a spot on the dean’s list five times over the course of her four-plus years at Pitt. In 2018, she was named Pitt’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the ACC. She plans to attend postgraduate school for physical therapy or physicians’ assistance.

Character

Williams overcame multiple obstacles early in her Pitt volleyball career, first suffering a fractured foot in her third week as a starter during her freshman year. She healed and redshirted the remainder of her rookie season, only to re-break her foot the following summer. She persevered through both injuries and returned to the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman, garnering honorable mention All-America honors the same season, as well as All-ACC First Team accolades. Over the next three years, Stephanie became the most decorated volleyball student-athlete in Pitt history and now ranks in the program’s top 10 in kills. Her teammates can always count on her calm demeanor on the court. She is someone the team can consistently look to perform in pressure situations.

Community

In addition to recording community service hours with Pitt volleyball, Williams has logged more than 240 volunteer hours outside of her team commitments over the last three summers between the UPMC Heritage Place Skilled Nursing Facility, the Cleveland Clinic South Point Hospital Inpatient Facility and the UPMC Outpatient Fox Chapel Facility. Her service included assisting the physical therapy staff with seated and standing programs, retrieving and returning patients to their rooms, applying heat and ice and providing a listening ear for patients receiving treatment. During the summer of 2018, Stephanie also participated in a mission trip to Brazil as part of Athletes in Action. She visited several local schools and after-school programs to work with children and staff. She provided care such as washing feet, providing new shoes and glasses, performing free eye exams and painting buildings.

Competition

In 2018, Williams became Pitt volleyball’s first three-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention (2016, 2017, 2018) and three-time member of the All-ACC First Team (2016, 2017, 2018). She currently sits at No. 8 all-time for Pitt in kills (1,224) and No. 9 in attempts (3,037). As a redshirt freshman in 2016, she landed in Pitt’s top 10 for kills in a season with 467 (No. 9). A four-year starter for the Panthers, she has led the team to back-to-back ACC Championships (2017, 2018) – the first for the program – as well as three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship Second Round (2016, 2017, 2018). During her time at Pitt, the Panthers have risen to unprecedented heights, reaching an all-time high ranking of No. 5 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2018. Since then, the Panthers have stayed consistently among the poll’s top 25 and earned a program-best preseason ranking of No. 12 in 2019.

(All stats as of nomination time.)