Sonia Stay taking volleyball talents to Cobber Country

Photo by Jeff Hage, Union-Times Sonia Stay, with her parents by her side, signs a national letter of intent on Thursday, March 23 to play volleyball at Concordia College in Moorhead.

Sonia Stay hated the game of volleyball when she started playing the sport in seventh grade.
But the Princeton High School senior has rode her success on the volleyball court to a future career on the volleyball court at Concordia College in Moorhead.
Stay signed a national letter of intent March 23 to play volleyball for the Cobbers and continue her education at Concordia.
Stay lettered in volleyball for the Tigers in 10th, 11th and 12th grade. She was named to the Mississippi 8 all-conference honorable mention team her senior year.
She was also a standout on the Tiger basketball team, lettering in 10th and 11th grades, and played on a state championship squad for the Tigers as a sophomore. A back injury kept Stay from participating on the basketball court in 2016-17.
Looking back to where the Princeton volleyball team was when Stay was a seventh-grader and where it is today is a look at an amazing journey, said Darin Laabs, assistant principal and activities director at Princeton High School.
“If you look at what we accomplished since then, we are an entirely different program,” Laabs said.
That can be credited to Princeton volleyball head coach Mary Patnode and players such as Stay, who have given the program a 21st century look, Laabs said.
And as Stay moves on to Moorhead, Laabs says Princeton High School “is super-thrilled” to be part of her journey.
Stay said choosing Concordia was an easy decision as the choice where she will continue her playing career and education.
“I went to the campus and loved it,” Stay said.
She also loved her future coaching staff. Having a program in athletic training, the discipline Stay wants to study, was an added bonus.
“Concordia felt like home to me,” Stay said.
Stay made the varsity team as a sophomore and was a starter for the Tigers her sophomore, junior and senior years.
“She’s a joy to coach,” Patnode said.
During those three years, Stay was the team’s leading blocker. That includes her senior year of 2016, which she missed much of due to an injury.
During the course of her injury, which kept Stay from the Tigers’ playoff run, she stepped up as a true leader, Patnode said, as she worked tirelessly with her replacement Abby Peterson, to help Peterson become the best at their position that Peterson could be, Patnode said.