begins practice next Monday
By TONY CASTRO
Two-time All-Hernando County volleyball selection – 2017 & 2018 – Brooke Kenzi Sereda of Weeki Wachee High begins the next phase of her life next week in New Port Richey as a member of the Pasco-Hernando State College volleyball program.
By her side, she’ll be joined by three-time All-County middle hitter Seytia Hill.
Both recently graduated from WWHS.
The five-foot-nine and 145-pound outside hitter Sereda says she can’t wait to get started playing for the Lady Quistas.
Sereda was born and raised in Spring Hill.
Her father Steve attended Central High and played baseball as a youngster.
Her mother, Aaron, also from Central High, did not play any sports.
In retracing Sereda’s athletic past, as the youngest of two children, her initially dabbled in youth soccer.
She recalls at 7 years old playing forward and goalie at the Anderson Snow Sports Complex in Spring Hill.
She enjoyed it so much, she remained there for six seasons.
Next arrived a stint with Spring Hill Dixie Softball.
For four seasons, she alternated between centerfield and first base.
She began to branch out upon matriculating with Challenger K-8.
As a sixth-grader, she joined the jayvee basketball team, played outfield on the softball program and concentrated in 100 meters, 4×100 relay and high jump during track and field.
A year later, she played jayvee volleyball and jayvee basketball, but dropped softball in favor focusing in 100, 4×100 relay and long jump in track.
As an eighth-grader, she made the varsity volleyball and basketball teams, played doubles for the tennis team and remained a fixture in track and field.
To remain prepared for volleyball, she played three seasons with Hernando Elite.
Upon enrolling at Weeki Wachee High School, Sereda played four seasons of volleyball – the last three with varsity – with Allen & Kelly Werkmeister.
In hoops, she did not play as a freshman and manned jayvee as a sophomore and junior before making the varsity squad as a senior.
In track, she remained active in the triple jump and long jump as a junior – achieving regionals.
Sereda readily admits she followed her heart and her friends.
“I’ve played volleyball the longest to play with my friends,” explained the 18-year-old. “It’s the sport, I’ve put in the most time in with.”
Asked to describe herself, “I’d say I’m a very competitive person; I like to win,“ she smiled. “I think I’m also a very supporting teammate.”
In measuring her growth, she says her biggest strides have been reached in hitting the ball.
“When I first came out to Weeki Wachee, Coach Allen and Coach Kelly changed my footwork. It was bad.
“I’m primarily a right-handed hitter, but I can sneak a left-handed shot in.”
The biggest transition?
Launching the heavy top-spin serve.
“With that heavy serve, you’ve got to be consistent every time. I was fortunate that I had coaches that believed in me – especially as a passer along the back row.
On why WWHS etched successful 21-9, 15-13, 18-8 seasons from 2016-2018, “It was mostly a group of girls that played as best friends,” she noted.
“I think our success can be traced back to practice. We built a team brick by brick.”
Each year, Sereda has made time outside of volleyball for her other guilty passion: fishing.
Her family typically spends a week fishing in the Florida Keys.
In the classroom, Sereda is a whiz.
She maintained a 3.8 unweighted and a 4.1 weighted grade point average.
Her favorite courses along the Vespa Way campus included: Algebra II with Joe Felice, pre-calculus and trigonometry with David DeJesus.
In selecting college, PHSC was ideally suited – close to Hernando County.
“The campus is close to my home. The one request I had was to play close to home,” noted Sereda.
Before arriving in West Pasco County, Sereda is not sure if the plan is to utilize her more from the outside.
“I’ll be happy, wherever they want to play me,“ shared Sereda.
She explained that she‘s stayed in shape for the upcoming season by playing basketball and beach volleyball.
She added that she normally runs a prepared course either early in the morning or afternoon before popping into Snap Fitness in Weeki Wachee.
“I love my coaches at PHSC,” shared Sereda. “They want to do the best for us now.”
Because of her solid academic work, “I’d like to do something in the medical profession that interests me. I’ve always liked chemistry.“
After attending PHSC, don’t be surprised to see Sereda land at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
With a week remaining until the first day of practice, “I’m more excited than anything right now. It’s like a whole new beginning for me.”
“…We’ve all got to hustle to get as far as we want to get,“ shared Sereda. “As far as playing time, I’m not going there to sit. I’m giving it my all to start.
On where her mind is at, “I’m just taking it one step at a time,“ stressed Sereda. “I don’t want to decide anything in the future right now.
“I’d say the team is hungry walking in. We all want to get back out there and show them what we’re capable of doing. Right now, I love playing this game and want to get back out three.”