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Kelly Hill | NCAA.com | November 21, 2013

Hartman keeps her teammates cool, calm and collected

HOLLAND, Mich. -- Alexis Hartman’s job is to keep her teammates calm.

That is becoming increasingly difficult for the Wisconsin-Stevens Point junior as the Pointers advance deeper and deeper into the NCAA tournament. No. 19 Stevens Point opened its tournament run by rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat Wartburg. Last weekend the Pointers won the regional championship by beating defending national champion St. Thomas on its own floor in St. Paul and Thursday night they beat No. 2-ranked Hope College on its home floor, DeVos Fieldhouse, in quarterfinal action.

“This team never gives up,” Hartman said, a 6-foot-1 setter from Deer Park, Ill. “We fight and we fight. In the first round we were down two and we won. Everyone keeps pushing. Everyone believes and they just really want it.”

The 2013 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a second-team All-American, Hartman had 31 assists in the Pointers’ three-set victory against the Flying Dutch Thursday night. “I didn’t even know what it was like to get this far, or even to think of going this far,” she said. “This was a great atmosphere [Thursday night]. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a great challenge.

“We have been taking every match at a time and just going for it. We are thinking one step at a time so we don’t get over our heads. Being a junior, it’s unbelievable to be experiencing this.”

Stevens Point’s opening-round win against Wartburg was the Pointers’ first NCAA tournament win since 1984, eight years before Hartman was born.

“I have to take control on the court sometimes,” Hartman said, who is an elementary education major. “I have to slow down the game for everyone and be the calm one and make sure everyone has a level head. I’m there to help everyone out.”

That calming force is a necessity in her chosen field of study. I just love children,” Hartman said. “I’m so excited to get to work with them and help them grow.”