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Summer Athlete Series: Meet Sarah Steen

Sarah Steen, volleyball player
Sarah Steen, volleyball player
Sarah Steen — Volleyball  

Sophomore libero Sarah Steen grew up in the gym and has yet to lose her passion for the sport she loves. She graduated from Yale High School in 2019 where she played on the varsity team for three years, as well as several club volleyball seasons. 

"My mom has been coaching for 15 plus years so I've been in the gym since I was a toddler," Steen said. "I feel a rush when I'm in the game. I'm super passionate about it. I've always loved everyone I play with and I like having a team with everyone that I'm close to."  

Prior to coaching volleyball, Steen's mother coached SC4 head volleyball coach Michelle McCulloch in basketball while she was at Yale High School, so for Steen, joining McCulloch and the Skippers was a rather familiar transition.  

Steen also played with McCulloch's Blue Water Volleyball Club team in high school, which Steen said holds one of her favorite memories of the sport.  

"In club we did really well in a tournament and we had [McCulloch] on the sidelines to look at and cheer us on and tell us what to do," Steen said. "She's always super competitive and wanting us to move forward and compete as hard as we can. Winning that tournament was super special to me."  

She said the tournament victory did not come easy, as they played a very close final game.  

"We were down at the beginning, then we went to the fifth set and we won 17-15," she said. "We barely won and it was really hard work, but having all that intensity, it was really cool to see everyone's hard work pay off."  

The hard work, intensity, and determination Steen shows on the court follows her in the classroom and on the job site. She is studying business while she works alongside her father who owns a landscaping company. 

While she originally had plans of furthering her education after SC4, she said she might decide to get straight to work, as she already enjoys what she does now and is learning a lot about business.  

"I might end up learning more about my dad's landscaping business and work toward taking that over for him," Steen said. "I've been working with him all summer, and even since I was little I worked with him, and now I'm getting to learn more about the business side of things too."  

It's not common to find a young girl on the job site when it comes to landscaping, as Steen will admit, but she said she loves the work and the opportunity to spend more time with her dad.  

"Normally people are super surprised when the see me on the site because it is kind of like a man's job," Steen said. "But it makes me feel powerful and my dad does a lot of work for DTE and they're really big on women in business, so when they see me, they're really surprised and happy."  

Steen said she and her father have had a close relationship all throughout her life. Growing up he used to take her to elementary school, and now she gets to learn from him and work with him.  

"I've always been really close to him and we've always done things together," she said. "I grew up listening to his rock music."  

Steen will return to the gym this fall in preparation for the winter season and to finish her business classes, but in the meantime she'll continue learn and grow while she landscapes with her dad.