• 57°

Stamper flying off to play for Eagles

Rock Hill Redwomen volleyball standout Samantha Stamper signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Midway University Eagles. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, niece Isabella Johnson, sister Tish Johnson, mother Amanda Stamper, Samantha, and father Fred Stamper; standing left to right, Rock Hill coach Jerry Gregg, Midway coach Jonea Rima and Rock Hill High School principal Sam Gue. (Photo Courtesy of Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PEDRO — This signing turned out to be tailor made.
When Rock Hill Redwomen senior volleyball standout Samantha Stamper went looking for a place to play in college, she found it easy to slip inside the comfortable threads of the Midway University Eagles.
Stamper did look at Wilmington and Shawnee State, but there was no denying the fit.
“Midway was a lot more homey than anything. It was just a really nice school. It was a good fit,” said Stamper.
Midway head coach Jonea Rima liked what she saw in Stamper and was ready to suit her up.
“Actually, I think she’ll fit in well with the girls. She has a lot of tenacity about her,” said Rima.
“She has a lot of room to grow, but I think that she’ll be a great kid to build into the program. We’re not a new program, but we’re a building program and I think she’ll fit into that mold really well.”
Another key for the decision is Stamper’s preference as an outside hitter although she is not locked into one position.
“I’m going to be an outside hitter on the left side,” said Stamper. “I could be in the back row passing as well.”
Stamper was a first team selection on the All-Ohio Valley Conference volleyball team. She followed that up by being named to the second team of the Volleyball Coaches All-District 13 team.
Besides volleyball, Stamper also plays basketball and softball. But she admits that volleyball is her true passion.
“It’s more like a sport I can take everything out with,” said Stamper. “But softball helps with speed.”
Having graduated five seniors, Rima said Stamper has a good opportunity to come into the program and play right away.
“This past year we played predominantly freshmen and seniors. We graduated a lot of seniors so we’re returning a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We have a bigger freshman class, but I think everyone has the opportunity to get some time,” said Rima.
Stamper — who has played volleyball since the seventh grade — knows nothing will be given to her, but she is ready to work for her playing time.
“I went to their tryouts and got to practice with them and that was real fun,” said Stamper. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s crazy to think about (playing at the next level), but it’s really exciting.
“They have a lot of underclassmen, so I’m going to be working hard with them. Hopefully, I’ll be at the point where I’ll start soon.”
Stamper plans to major in physical therapy.