Her name does not often appear in the headlines. She doesn't play a glamorous position. Her job is to help her teammates succeed.
But ask sophomore setter Kayla Weller about her supporting role, and she will say that is just the way she likes it.
"She is the type of person who puts everyone before herself," sophomore Shannon Craighead said. "For a setter that is important because it is not about you scoring the points, it's about setting up your teammates. She finds joy in watching other people be happy."
"I think her attitude really sets her apart," junior Erika White added. "She is always poitive all the time. She is always celebrating someone else's points. You'll never her see her celebrate one of her own kills as much as when someone else pounds the ball down on one of her sets."
Weller has had plenty of opportunities to celebrate with her teammates this season. The Hatters have recorded over 1400 kills, the highest team total since 2002. Weller has assisted on 1,348 of those kills, breaking the school's all-time single-season assists record. Appropriately, the record came in the same match Stetson clinched a postseason berth for the first time in 18 years, a 3-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.
"Breaking the record would not of been possible without the support of every one of my teammates," Weller said. "The team has been doing amazing this season and I'm glad it is showing with all the records being broken. The real accomplishment is going to be coming out in the conference tournament and showing everyone how far we have come."
Head Coach Tim Loesch says Weller has been valuable to the team in so many different ways.
"She is outgoing, she loves to be loud out on the court and she loves to compete," Loesch said. "Most of the girls are that way most of the time, but she is kind of that way all of the time. She keeps that going and is very consistent with her effort and enthusiansm, and it definitely rubs off on the other players. As a coach, you want those types of players on the court, whatever position it is.
"She has also grown more and more consistent as a setter," Loesch added. "She came in this season in great condition and has continued to work on her fitness, her blocking, and her vertical jump - things that may go unnoticed but definitely have an impact on our team. She has also improved from a strategic standpoint and executes our game plan very reliably."
Weller and the Hatters will return to action this weekend when Stetson (18-13, 9-7 A-Sun) visits Lipscomb (19-7, 13-3) and Northern Kentucky (11-18, 6-10) in the final two matches of the regular season. Friday's match will be carried live on ESPN3 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Hatters and Norse will square off at 3 p.m. ET Saturday.
The Hatters know they will be either the no. 4 or no. 5 seed for next week's A-Sun tournament, but they do not yet know who they will play. If FGCU wins one its final two matches (also at NKU and Lipscomb), the Hatters and Eagles will meet in the quarterfinals.
One thing is for sure, Weller will keep her teammates encouraged the whole time.
"She is always in the best mood," junior Morgan Pautsch said. "You can always count on her to make you laugh. She is absolutely hilarious and I love her to death. You see her cheering on the court and it makes you excited and want to cheer even louder. She is so supportive of everyone."