When MSU women’s soccer assistant coach Tammy Farnum was asked earlier this summer which incoming freshman had the potential to burst onto the MSU sports scene like All-American sophomore forward Laura Heyboer did in 2008, she listed three names.
One of those was Olivia Stander, a freshman forward with an impressive sports résumé out of Grosse Pointe High School. Not only was Stander a standout soccer player, but she also excelled in basketball and swimming during her prep career. On the soccer field, she was a three-time, First-Team All-State selection, leading her team to the state semifinals as a sophomore and the championship game as a junior. Stander also impressed on the hardwood, leading her team to the 2008 Class A Basketball State Championship.
Also a standout swimmer, she was named the 2009 Michigan High School Female Athlete of the Year by the Detroit Athletic Club.
Stander has one assist in her first three games, but The State News decided to get to know the future MSU standout before her breakout game.
The State News What do you think of MSU so far?
Olivia Stander I really like it. It’s kind of overwhelming at the beginning with all the classes and trying to figure out where I’m going and stuff like that. But I’m pretty familiar with the campus coming in early and stuff, so I like it a lot. I like the girls on the team a lot. They make it a lot easier.
SN Are there any classes in particular you’re looking forward to?
OS I’m looking forward to my math classes. I like math. I’m taking stats. Not really my science classes. I’m not really looking forward to those.
SN What are some of your favorite memories in basketball and swimming?
OS Basketball, when I was a junior we won the state championship, so definitely that was probably my most memorable experience with basketball. With swimming, I’ve swam in the summers since I was, like, 8. We’ve won the state championship every year, so I’ve been successful there. Both my state championships would probably be the most memorable.
SN Is it hard not playing those two sports competitively any more?
OS Yeah, basketball definitely. I don’t really miss swimming that much, but basketball definitely, yeah. I miss it.
SN Now for some fun questions. What is your favorite TV show?
OS I would have to say “Full House” because I’ve been watching it since I was little. I have all the seasons. I like it. It’s funny.
SN Favorite type of music and favorite artist?
OS I like country music. I think Taylor Swift would probably be my favorite.
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