Elissa Steffan has been watched for more than a year.
It paid off May 1 when the Killdeer senior signed with Dickinson State University to become a member of the Blue Hawk volleyball program.
By Brad Mosher
Her new college coach, Jennifer Hartman, said that she first spotted Steffan at a volleyball camp two years earlier. “She really stood out to us. It was her defense. She is really good at reading as well as passing,” she added.
Hartman said that she sees Steffan as a defensive specialist when she suits up in the fall.
“We just added a junior varsity. Most teams in our conference have one, so she will get a chance to play and prove herself right away,” Hartman added.
The coach compared Steffan to former Dickinson High player Sarah Dobitz who plays defensive specialist and middle back for the Blue Hawks.
Both have the ability to read and put themselves in good positions defensively before the kill is over, the coach added.
“We have high expectations for her,” Hartman said, referring to Steffan. “… as I am sure she has for herself.”
According to Hartman, Steffan is the first Killdeer player signed since the Killdeer coach played for the Blue Hawks several years ago. “We are excited they decided to commit to DSU,” she added.
Although Allison Sampsel held back on participating in the recruiting, the Killdeer coach did tell Hartman “she is a really good player and I am not saying that because she is my sister,” Hartman recalled.
“We got to watch film … and she (Steffan) was good, really, really good.”
Hartman is still on the lookout for more players especially ones with height.
“We are looking for some front row players now and adding some freshmen who are still interested in playing.
“We’re lways on the lookout,” the coach added.
As for the newly-signed Blue Hawk, Steffan will be waiting until after graduation to get started.
“Volleyball has always been my favorite sport, since I was very young.
“It was in fifth grade, I think, and then I just progressed from there,” the graduating senior explained. I watched my sister play in high school and then in college. It really boosted my love for the game.”
She admitted she was both excited and nervous when she found out she would be coached in ghigh school by her sister.
“She had a lot to offer the program and I learned a lot from her,” Steffan added, noting the impact her sister had on her in high school..
The feeling was mutual.
“I am super proud… not only as her coach, but as her sister,” Sampsel added.
“She definitely deserse to play at the college level. She is very talented and I am excited to watch her volleyball skills improve.”
When she starts her college career in the fall, Steffan said she would like to see some court time and improve. “The older girls who have been their for a while are definitely going to have something to teach me,” she added.
Currently, Steffan has her eyes on majoring at elementary education at the university.