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The Newspaper of St. Stephen's Episcopal School

The Bell

Athlete Profile: Addison Starr

Chris Caselli
Addison Starr (’24), left.

Addison Starr is a senior day student who’s been playing volleyball since she was in 6th grade. She’s currently a setter on varsity and co-captain of the team this year with senior Kayla Patel. Our interview with her sheds more light on what the girl’s varsity volleyball team is like this year, their goals for the season, and what it’s like being a student-athlete on the Hill.


Q: How has the volleyball program at school changed/made you a better player/person?

Our program has amazing coaches, so I’ve definitely been able to improve a lot as a player just from their coaching. Another really important part of our program is that we have a lot of time to focus on the mental side of sports. I’ve learned a lot from Coach Johnson about how to manage stress levels while playing while also using adrenaline and anxiety as a tool to be a better player.


Q: What are some goals of the season this year?

Our main goal is to win SPC. I’m super excited to be able to compete with other teams in our conference, and I think all the work we put in leading up to SPC is going to help us be as successful as we can. Our saying this year is “All In,” which is really important to our whole team because we’re all extremely bought in and want to succeed and accomplish our goals. We have a lot of talented players on the team this year and great team chemistry, so I think our connection as a whole is going to be really good for us. 


Q: How has it felt to watch the team grow together?

I’ve been on the team with a lot of the same people for two or three years now, and I love having them as both friends and teammates, but I think something really special about this year is our new teammates and how we’ve all been able to get to know each other and work together.


Q: What duties do you have as a captain?

On the court, my main job is being a supportive teammate at all times. One of the biggest jobs of my position is giving my hitters and defensive players confidence so we can build trust with each other. Besides that, as a captain I do a lot with Kayla to keep us all organized and on the same page.


Q: What’s your favorite team memory?

One of my favorite memories from last season was playing St. Andrew’s on senior night and beating them. It was such an amazing feeling afterward not only because we beat our rivals but also because I really felt like our team came together to win for our seniors. St. Andrew’s had a really good team last year, and it was one of our hardest games, but I really felt like we worked our absolute hardest in that game, and it was so fun.


Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge the team will have to overcome this year?

I think for us this year the thing that’s going to challenge us the most is getting in ruts. Every year there are times we don’t play our best or lose focus, so I think it’s just up to how we handle that and come together.


Q: What advice would you give to people who are new to volleyball?

I think my biggest piece of advice is to be a supportive teammate to everyone. Even if you don’t know that much about volleyball, making friends on your team and learning from them is super important and can help you become a better player and friend. 


Q: What advice would you give to other student-athletes about balancing school work and sports, especially at a place like St. Stephen’s?

I think communication is key for anybody who plays sports here. I’ve always been able to reach out to my teachers after a late-night game or tournament and let them know my situation so I can figure something out with them. Talking to your coaches about academic commitments you may have is also really important. For me, my coaches and teachers have always been great at working with me when I’m balancing both school and sports, but you have to communicate.

About the Contributor
Anusha Mahbub
Anusha Mahbub, Editor
Anusha Mahbub is an 11th-grade day student and a new addition to The Bell this year. She can be found on the volleyball court or hanging out in Ms. Murphy’s office (usually the latter). She’s so excited to explore her love of writing this year and share her interests with the community.