Talent and hard work continues to show for NCU setter
Elissa Pheneger broke the North Central career assists record in a big conference win against Bethany Lutheran.
Pheneger had 44 assists in the game. During a timeout, Pheneger noticed her mother in the crowd holding a sign exclaiming, “Way to go Elissa!”
“Elissa is an amazing volleyball player,” co-captain Ashley Kelzer said in an email. “She is one of the most hardworking teammates I have ever played with. I am so proud of her and her accomplishments.”
With the role as captain for the second year in a row, Pheneger knows her role is different than the responsibility of only being a player. She said the difference is, “being a leader off the court and being intentional about building relationships with the girls on the team.”
Pheneger has played volleyball since fifth grade. Her 5-foot-4-inch stature was once considered tall at a young age, but as everyone around her grew, she grew toward the position of setter in her freshman year of high school. She has stuck with the position since then.
An email from volleyball coach Stephanie Schmidt four years ago sparked Pheneger’s interest in North Central. She has put in countless hours and hard work over her North Central career. The volleyball program has clearly benefitted from her decision.
Both of Pheneger’s co-captains, Kelzer and Anna Larson, are hitters. They explained that trust comes with a talented setter and they have no issues trusting Pheneger. She is the one player that touches the ball every time it is on their side of the court and never ceases to give 100 percent to get the ball to where it should be.
“She has outworked us all in the gym and I know that she has earned every one of those assists,” co-captain Larson said in an email.