Stoop signs with Bridgewater after stellar Raider career

Published 1:31 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Regan Stoop hated volleyball when she was in seventh grade and swore she would never play again. Soon she’ll head off to Bridgewater University in Bridgewater, VA. to continue her career.

She leaves Pungo Christian Academy with a long list of accolades in basketball, softball and the sport she once loathed, including back-to-back volleyball state championships her junior and senior year.

The sport she learned after the other two ended up being the one she will continue to play.

“I didn’t play very much in seventh grade because we had plenty of older girls who were better than me, but I didn’t like it very much,” Stoop said. “My parents made me stick with it because I had made a commitment to the team and I actually started in eighth grade. I started liking it more and was willing to put in the extra work to be good and I started with my travel team my sophomore year.”

The East Carolina Junior Volleyball Club in Greenville provided her the chance to compete up and down the east coast with two practices a week in Greenville year-round with tournaments every other weekend from January through July.

“I’ve improved so much between travel and school volleyball and really appreciate my coaches helping me and my parents and siblings traveling to the tournaments to support me. I would not have been able to play college volleyball without them.”

Stoop also considered Meredith College in Raleigh, but the Division III school about an hour northwest of Charlotteville won out.

“Coming from a small high school, I wanted a small college environment and Bridgewater was perfect when I visited,” Stoop said. “I thought it was a very strong team environment and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The rest of the Tar Heel Independent Conference schools will be glad to see her go and some might even volunteer to help her pack.

She was the conference player of the year and tournament player of the year four times while leading the Lady Raiders to four conference regular season and tournament titles.

The 6’0 outside hitter is the school’s all-time leader in kills (1,140), service points (686) and aces (343) and holds the single game kills (30) and aces (15) records as well.

“She is easily the best volleyball player to ever wear the Raiders uniform and one of the best athletes in school history,” Athletic Director Logan Van Staalduinen said.  “Reagan has the best work ethic out of any athlete I have been around during my short tenure at PCA. She is never satisfied and is always working to improve parts of her game.”

Stoop is one of five in the 12-person class of 2023 who started at PCA in the pre-kindergarten program. She will graduate with a 5.5 weighted GPA and is one of five state-wide nominees for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

Stoop is a month away from graduation and will report to Bridgewater in mid-August to start the next phase of her life and athletic career. She’ll take a ton of memories and highlights with her, but a couple stand out.

“Winning the volleyball state tournament my junior year was amazing,” Stoop said. “We didn’t have any expectations when we started, but we realized we were pretty good as the season went on. We had so much support from our fans and the gym was packed for most games. We won at home and our classmates were there making a lot of noise, which made it a lot of fun. There was more pressure this year because we were supposed to win again and we did. It was another great home atmosphere and it was the perfect way to end my volleyball career here.”