Danielle Oeverman Named the NCCAA Susan R. Hellings Award Recipient

Senior volleyball student-athlete Danielle Oeverman was awarded the 2017 Susan R. Hellings Award for NCCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball.  The annual award is given to honor a women’s volleyball player who is an excellent student-athlete on an outstanding team, demonstrates leadership ability, and has a clear Christian testimony on and off the court.  Danielle was presented with the award at the NCCAA National Championship banquet in Kissimmee, Florida on November 29.  

Danielle has made an impact to the volleyball program and to the Trinity community in her four years as a student-athlete. Her career has been filled with highs and lows from two NCCAA national championship titles to dealing with an injury that sidelined her for part of a season.  She has used those experiences to grow in her faith and develop as a team leader.

Danielle, a 5’10” middle hitter, has received many athletic accolades during her career. She is a four-time All-Conference selection and was the CCAC Freshman of the Year in her rookie season.  She has earned AVCA/NAIA All-Region honors twice and NCCAA North Central All-Region honors three times.  In addition she was named to the NCCAA Nationals All-Tournament Team in 2014 and a 2014 AVCA/NCCAA All-American.  As a junior she reached the 1,000 kill milestone and to date has 1,317 kills. She is also a team leader in attack percentage and block average.  

In her four years Danielle has been instrumental in the team’s success. The Trolls claimed NCCAA National Championship titles in 2014 and 2016 and advanced to the NAIA National Championship in 2015 and 2017. They were conference season co-champs in 2016 and 2017 and tournament champs in 2015 as well as claimed NCCAA North Central Region titles in 2014 and 2016. In addition Danielle was a part of the team that set a school record with 38 match wins in a season.

In addition to her passion for her team and her sport, Danielle, a Byron Center, Michigan native, has a passion for speech pathology, her program of study.  Her desire to excel in her academics and to develop in her intended vocation led her to Uganda in the 2017 summer for valuable field experience and an opportunity to serve others.  She has achieved academically and earned scholar-athlete recognition from the conference, NCCAA, and NAIA.  

“When Danie came to our program as a freshman I knew I was getting a strong volleyball player, but I did not realize back then what a special person I was getting as well,” said Bill Schepel, Trinity’s head volleyball coach. “She has become an effective leader for our team and is respected by both her teammates and the coaching staff.  She possesses the maturity and wisdom to know the balance between challenge and encouragement and was a support to her teammates even when she was down with injury. She has shown growth in her faith and has been vulnerable enough to articulate her personal journey and struggles to her teammates as a means of mentoring them in their Christian walk.”

On her team she has served as a team captain for two seasons and leads through both word and action. She is also a member of the Athletics Leadership Program for Student-Athletes and has become a vital asset to that group as she develops her leadership skills.  Danielle has found ways on the team, on campus, and in the community to serve.  She also participated in a team mission trip to Costa Rica that ministered to members of that hurricane devastated community.

Award Description
Susan R. Hellings played volleyball in the mid 1970’s at Houghton College. She was a starting hitter for her championship team. Susan exemplified Christian leadership on the court, not allowing anything to stand in the way of team unity. She was an excellent student as demonstrated by being her high school valedictorian, and graduating Summa Cum Laude from college with a B.A. in mathematics. Susan is the mother of two boys. She and her husband, Richard, host Bible studies in their home and are active in their local church. Susan was the type of student-athlete that exemplified all the characteristics that this award is intended to honor.

NCCAA press release