Athlete Spotlight: Alyson Folkens

Volleyball captain, Alyson Folkens, led her team to victory in the district quarter-finals.

Sophia Berry, Editor

A varsity player since 7th grade, Alyson Folkens upholds the pillar of leadership on and off the court as team captain of the volleyball team. Folkens started her volleyball career at just eight years old, when her sister taught her how to play, and she’s been spiking and setting ever since. 

Monday, October the 8th was the last game of the season, and the girls volleyball team accomplished their season goal: winning a district game.

Although only a junior, Alyson has been captain since sophomore year. As a junior some might find it hard to lead students older than them, but with eight years of volleyball experience, Alyson has the skills to back up her authority. And even even though she’s young and only 5’2”, people still “respect and listen to [her],” on and off the court.

As a captain she has to control the court, but more than that she has to be there for the team on and off the court. “If there’s any drama on the team I have to make sure it stops,” Folkens says. “I need to be the person to go to with the things you wouldn’t want to go to the coach for.” 

One of her favorite parts of the season was the time she got to spend with her senior teammates. Since it’s their last year and Folkens is close with many of them, Senior Night was extra special because “we’re going to miss them when they’re gone.” 

Folkens hasn’t just been a star on Saint Stephen’s Volleyball team; she’s also played on a club team since she was nine. Her dedication to her sport clearly shows as her travel team went to the Junior Olympics for volleyball twice. 

But as with many sports, it hasn’t always been easy. About a year ago, Alyson hurt her knee during a club practice and was out for six months. Because of the injury, she missed the last club game of the season, and the rest of her time on the club team. That was why playing this season with the seniors meant so much to her. 

If you’re an aspiring star volleyball player or any type of athlete like Alyson, here’s her advice: “A lot of people feel like they need to keep going with a sport because they started young, but if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. If you do enjoy it, find good teammates that you stick with, don’t leave anyone behind, and have fun.”