Most Viewed Stories
Dounseroux set to lead PC volleyball
Timing is a key component in every sport, and volleyball is no exception.
As a freshman at Porterville College, Stephanie Dounseroux enjoyed success as an all-conference setter.
Her role was to control the offensive tempo — setting up her teammates for scoring opportunities.
When the Pirates open their 2011 season on Wednesday against Cuesta, she will return to her familiar spot on the floor, but this time with added responsibility.
“It’s time for me to be more of a leader,” Dounseroux said.
“I realize that to reach our potential, the team needs me to be a more positive leader. We also have nine new players without college experience, so I need to change my approach as a better teammate.”
Dounseroux admits that she was “selfish at times” during her first year at PC and relied too much on her athleticism, rather than perfecting her craft.
Things came easier for her at McFarland High School, where she earned an astonishing 11 East Sequoia League First Team honors, while playing volleyball, basketball, and softball. In fact, volleyball was the last sport she was recruited for.
“I was going to play basketball at Bakersfield College,” she said.
“I heard of Porterville, but didn’t know anything about an opportunity to play college sports here.”
After constant recruiting by volleyball head coach Dale Henderson and assistant softball coach Mike Genovese, Dounseroux decided to become a Pirate.
“It was the best decision I made,” said Dounseroux, one of four children to parents, Trish and Ted.
“My high school was only known for boys cross country, so I never thought a female athlete from McFarland could play anywhere in college. Once I got to PC, I was just hoping to make the team.”
Last season, the Pirates finished fourth in the Central Valley Conference with an 8-6 record, but missed the playoffs.
Dounseroux was selected Second Team All-Central Valley Conference and ranked among the state leaders with 6.21 assists per game.
She was also voted PC “Rookie of the Year” for all sports, while earning academic honors on the Dean’s List. Dounseroux worked on campus, and found time to serve as an executive officer on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
“To say that Stephanie is a role model for student-athletes is an understatement,” PC athletic director Eric Mendoza said. “Stephanie approaches school, work, and life the way she plays volleyball — always giving 100 percent. She is on her way to great things ahead, and we are proud to have her represent our program.”
Dounseroux, who is taking 17 units, continues to make the 45-minute drive from McFarland to PC — every day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she drives from PC to Wasco — an hour — to work a second job.
“I basically work to pay for gas, in order to attend PC and play volleyball,” she said. “It’s all worth it.”
PC coach Dale Henderson calls Dounseroux “the ultra-competitor.” The two have similar personalities, and they laugh about clashing from time to time.
“The difference in Stephanie has been her growth in maturity,” Henderson said.
“She’s our captain. She takes command whether it’s in practice, matches, or team meetings. She’s the type of leader we’ve been missing in our program. Hopefully, others will learn from her and make themselves better. She’s living proof it can happen.”
Dounseroux was recently contacted by a four-year university in Kansas to play volleyball. It’s the first of many offers to come, according to Henderson.
While she would rather stay in California, she knows a scholarship may take her out of the state — perhaps across country.
“If I am fortunate enough to receive a scholarship, it will be God’s will,” she said. “I have been preparing a long time for that opportunity. Only time will tell.”