Daytona State College Volleyball is off to a landmark start with the 2018 season. With just two losses on their record to nationally ranked opponents, Miami-Dade and Santa Fe, the Falcons have demonstrated strength despite a relatively freshmen laden roster.
Only two sophomore starters from the 2017 season are consistent players in the Falcon lineup, Yasmin Kuck and Taylor Garcia. Garcia and Kuck have combined for 243 of the Falcons 667 kills on the season. While sophomores, Tycee Bates and Gardieliz Laureano, have cracked the starting line-up in 2018 serving valuable roles, Bates as an outside and Laureano as a setter. Additionally, sophomore Shelby Glawson, has provided valuable offense during the first half of the season as well.
An impressive group of freshmen have contributed significantly to the overall offensive and defensive success of the Falcons. Freshmen setter, Bruna Avila, has partnered with Laureano to direct the offense in a setters capacity in the first 15 matches of the season. While freshmen libero, Nicole Rodriguez, has been a dominating defensive force in the backcourt. Rodriguez has had several standout performances this season, specifically a 38 dig match, to help catapult the Falcons in a five set match against the Hawks of Hillsborough Community College. Rodriguez's 38 dig performance was enough to surpass the digs in a match record set by former Lady Falcon Kiara Colson in 2014. Rodriguez has logged 322 digs thus far on the season.
Freshmen outside hitter, Carla Hernandez, has developed nicely into her role as the starting outside attacker for the Falcons. Hernandez, along with Kuck, have led the Falcons in nearly every match this season, contributing nearly 3 kills per set. Gabrielle Soto has contributed as a utility player for Daytona State, primarily providing a consistent pass in serve receive and a strong defensive presence. Heidi Homburg is a notable player for the Falcons as well providing 37 kills in her first 6 matches played. She has been out with an ankle injury, but is looking to return next week in preparation for Mid-Florida Conference play.
"These young ladies are very dialed in right now and have demonstrated a high level of commitment necessary to compete in the grueling Florida Region. I have been very impressed how our freshmen have stepped up to play big roles in the program early, and even more impressed with the leadership that our sophomores are fostering in our program," commented Stegall on the 13-3 Falcons.