Humans of UK: Alli Stumler keeps the Cats on top


Kentucky Wildcats outside hitter Alli Stumler (17) hits the ball over the net during the UK vs. Ole Miss game on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 3-1. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Jaron Centers

This is Humans of UK, inspired by the Humans of New York Instagram series by photographer and author Brandon Stanton. This series dives into the individuals of UK as well as their stories, strifes and passions.

Senior Alli Stumler is known by many names: National Champion, two-time All-American and three-time SEC Champion, to name a few. However, off the court, Stumler is a servant, outdoorsman and someone who is passionate about family.

A native of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, one would think that a girl from the Hoosier state would follow a basketball path. However, Alli chose volleyball.

Since high school, Stumler has drawn national attention for her skills on the court, named an Under Armour All-American, fourtime Indiana All-State and an Indiana State Champion.

While volleyball takes up most of her time, her passions in life reach far beyond the game. “I think giving back is number one,” Stumler said. “That’s something I really try to make a priority, more so now than ever before.”

In addition to giving back to her community, Stumler said she also enjoys hiking, going to the lake and “just enjoying nature.” “I think it’s a good way for me to release whatever is on my mind and just enjoy what I have,” she said.

Her skills in volleyball won her several accolades during her junior year. Leading the Cats with eight double-doubles as well as averaging 4.28 kills per set, Stumler was named to multiple prestigious lists in the 2020 season, including AVCA All-America, All-SEC, NCAA All-Tournament Team and AVCA First Team All-Region.

Since being crowned a national champion in April, Stumler talked about how she was able to spend time with her family and friends during the offseason, something she had to be heedful of during the team’s run to the title.

“We had to be cognizant of who we were around, where they had been, because we wanted to put ourselves in the best position possible to win a national championship, so we couldn’t enjoy those things,” Stumler said. “In the two months we had off this summer, I was just with family, enjoying those times.”

With her senior campaign underway, it’s no surprise that Stumler is already off to a great start. Last weekend, she was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Dayton Invitational, leading the Cats with 3.67 kills per set.

Stumler will be a key piece to defending a national title. While the team faces a daunting task ahead, Stumler believes the Cats have the “necessary pieces” to stay at the top.