Courtney Schwan has made a name for herself by doing it all on the volleyball court, and as she prepares to continue her career with one of the top collegiate volleyball programs in the country at University of Washington next season, her name recognition should only increase.
Schwan, a two-time Gatorade Washington Volleyball Player of the Year for Bellarmine Prep, has led the Lions to two straight WIAA Class 4A state championships, including a perfect 35-0 record during her 2013 senior season. The 6-2 outside hitter recorded 498 kills, 284 digs, 89 service aces and 38 blocks with a hitting percentage of .449. She has twice earned Class 4A WIAA Player of the Year and WIAA Tournament MVP honors and is a four-time Narrows League MVP. As a senior she earned American Volleyball Coaches Association First-Team Under Armour All-American honors.
“She’s a very complete volleyball player, as she can do a lot of stuff well,” University of Washington volleyball coach Jim McLaughlin said about Schwan. “That will be part of her identity; I don’t think she has a weakness. She’s got good power. She makes a nice block move and has been well-coached on how to move at the net. She has a nice platform and knows angles, so there isn’t anything Courtney can’t do.”
Off the court, Schwan is an excellent student with a 3.55 grade point average. She is also quite active in the community, volunteering at a local daycare center, at the Fife City Santa Run and the Fife Police Halloween Carnival. She is an accomplished pianist and also participates in service activities with her church youth group.
“Courtney comes from good values, and she has very good intangibles that her parents got in place early with her,” McLaughlin said. “School is important to her, and she knows how to make a commitment.”
Schwan’s coach at Bellarmine Prep, Jody DeGroot, praised her focus at improving and desire to stay on the court, saying that “she loves the game so much, she’s always looking for a game.” Meanwhile, rival coach Tony Batinovich from Puyallup High School complimenting everything from her volleyball IQ to her physical abilities and the way she carries herself in timeouts. His expectations for her collegiate career are understandably high.
“I’d be shocked if she isn’t an All-American in the coming years,” Batinovich said. “She’s one of those special kids that only comes around every once in a while.”
Schwan has dominated every level of volleyball up to this point, earning team MVP honors for her school squad every years since the seventh grade and playing club volleyball since the age of nine. She competed for the USA on the Girls Youth National Team in Iowa and Tijuana, earning all-tournament honors among players several years older, and claiming a chance to potentially represent the USA in Thailand as one of the top 12 players.
It speaks even more highly of her volleyball prowess to notice that she is also an all-area first-team softball player, and yet that honor often falls by the wayside in the midst of her volleyball accomplishments. During her junior year at Bellarmine Prep, her class honored her with an award for demonstrating leadership, school pride and strong character throughout the year.
“I like everything about Courtney Schwan,” McLaughlin said. “She has good athletic ability. That’s clear; everybody sees that. But she also has a very high level of determination as well as being a very competitive person. She wasn’t to become great and play at the highest level, and most importantly she has great character.”