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One of the top high school setters in her class, Kenna Phelan has quickly made an impact since arriving on campus at Florida State. After a high school career that consisted of accolades including being a 5-star recruit and the recipient of Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022, Kenna has become a centerpiece of the Seminoles’ 12-6 start to the season.

Photo provided by Kenna Phelan
As she prepares for what the rest of the season will bring, Kenna credits her faith for guiding her throughout her life.

Kenna’s journey to becoming a standout freshman for the Seminoles is grounded in her faith. Growing up in a Christian family, she was instilled with the values of faith, love, and compassion from an early age.

“I grew up in a Christian family. Putting faith in the Lord has always been something my parents have encouraged, especially in the transition to college.”

The transition from high school to college is a challenging part of any student athlete’s journey, but for Kenna, she says that faith has guided her throughout. She believes that her faith has not only shaped her as an athlete but also as a person, giving her a sense of purpose and perspective that goes far beyond the court.

“Remembering why I play and who I play for has allowed me to define myself by characteristics other than how I play on the court.”

Photo provided by Kenna Phelan
When Kenna steps onto the court, it’s not about the accolades or statistics. Instead, it’s about playing for those around her and giving back. She understands that wins and losses are part of the game, but what truly matters is the effort and attitude she brings to every match. Kenna takes the court each day with joy and a smile as she looks to make an impact on those around her.

“My faith has had a huge impact on how I play. I remember to play for the Lord and those around me rather than myself, to not get caught up in wins and losses, to constantly give my all, and to give thanks to those who support me and have helped me get this far.”

Florida State is off to a dominant start in conference play, as they are 6-0 in the ACC to begin the 2023 season. When talking to Kenna about why she plays, it is grounded in humility and service.

Kenna looks to give back and show younger athletes that your true identity is not defined by accomplishments and failures. Instead, Kenna has found her joy in knowing her purpose and in living her life for others.


Ethan Kruse

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