Sparkman’s Aleah Stogner Plays Both Indoor And Sand Volleyball
HARVEST- Sand volleyball or indoor volleyball? That is among the questions Aleah Stogner has to answer once her senior season of play at Sparkman High has concluded. The super talented Stogner, who her teammates nicknamed “Lele,” is undecided on which version of the sport she will pursue once her last season of traditional high school indoor volleyball is completed. She’s also presented the conundrum on what college to indeed, possibly to play volleyball.
“I love to play sand volleyball and I like it more than I do indoor,” said Stogner. “I’d like to have the possibility to play professional volleyball.”
As a member of the Sparkman volleyball team, the 5-foot-10, 130-pound Stogner has helped propel the Senators’ squad both as a junior and now a senior to enormous heights among Class 7A in Alabama. The Senators are currently among the top four in the state rankings and Stogner has been a powerhouse player even making the Alabama High School Athletic Association volleyball spotlight listing earlier in the season. In the recent Ironman Invitational in Huntsville, Stogner had 156 kills, 63 digs and eight service aces to lead the Senators to nine straight wins and the tournament championship. In 2020, she had 540 kills, 300 digs and 43 blocks.
The daughter of Eric and Karla Stogner, the multi-sport athlete once played softball and basketball along with cross country running, but volleyball became her sport of choice, although she indicated she wants to try out for the school’s soccer team in the spring. Stogner’s older sister, Sydney, a 2018 graduate of Sparkman, played volleyball and just being around the spirit and competiveness of the game gravitated Stogner to joining a recreational team at age eight. When she turned 12 she took to a club volleyball team. She played one year in middle school, but chose to remain with the club team instead until her junior year at Sparkman.
Along with her indoor play, Stogner has played sand volleyball mostly in the league based in Huntsville. She has teamed up with Gracie Lynn Butler of nearby Hazel Green to play in numerous outings including the state tournament in Gulf Shores earlier this summer. Wearing their team color of pink, Stogner and Butler easily made a name for themselves in what could be a lucrative venture into professional sand volleyball. The decision of which way to tread after high school is one Stogner is currently facing.
“I’ve had several schools show interest in my volleyball talent and I would like to move away from home to attend college,” said Stogner, who has a 4.2 grade point average and is eyeing an education in science or chemistry.
On the indoor court with the Senators, Stogner is a communicator within the squad. She’s known to be an accurate player among the action and is a level-headed team captain. “I keep my emotions under control and I feel I can read the court action during a match,” added Stogner. “I’ve been known to jump 9-feet, 9-inches during drills and that’s what colleges are looking for.”
Her academic recognition includes being a member of the National Honor Society. As for her athletic recognition, Stogner is very humble. She said she doesn’t really see what the big hoopla is all about. “I try not to let it get to my head. I remain humble. I see I’m a good player, but I believe I’m more of an asset to the team and not an individual player,” said Stogner.
“Aleah doesn’t stress about the game as she’s truly a very good player and fun to watch,” said Chandler Philips, Sparkman head coach.
For the last five years she has been a strict vegetarian. When out with her friends or family she will eat a salad or even a veggie burger instead of like most others who order a meat entrée.
Indoor or sand? Or both? The 18-year old Stogner will be faced to answer those questions in due time. Currently she’s busy helping propel the Sparkman squad to possible new heights and set her feet firmly into the sand in the sport she said is her passion.
“I like sand volleyball because I like the fact I get to touch the ball on every play and with just two of us out there, it’s more of a strategy game,” said Stogner, who will soon be faced to come up with a strategy of her own.