By Matt Mauney | Staff Writer
Valeria Arroyo was destined to be a volleyball player. The 15-year-old Plant City resident took up the sport several years ago and now plays both at the Plant City YMCA and the varsity team at her high school — Santa Fe Catholic in Lakeland. During the summer, Arroyo practices with her father, Miguel, a volunteer coach at the YMCA. She also plays in the rec league at the Y both to have fun and to keep in shape for the upcoming high school season.
How long have you been playing volleyball?
I’ve been playing for about three years.
How did you get involved with the sport?
My dad has been playing volleyball all his life, and he’s been teaching me since then, and I’ve just learned so much. Then, I got involved at my school and then here at the Plant City YMCA.
What do you like about volleyball?
Everything. You move. You share the ball. I just love everything about it.
Do you play any other sports?
I played basketball here at the YMCA and soccer.
Do you still play those sports?
No, I’m just focusing on volleyball. It fits me best.
What position do you play?
I’m a spiker.
What is the biggest difference between playing for your high school team and playing at the Plant City YMCA?
We don’t practice during the summer for my high school team, so playing and practicing here at the Y gives me something to do and keep busy with over the summer. At the Y, not everyone is good, so you are able to share and learn together.
What is your favorite school subject?
I would have to say science, because I want to be a doctor.
What do you like about science?
I like learning how everything works in the world and learning about Earth and how everything started.
What are your favorite aspects of volleyball?
I was able to learn all of the positions, but I’m best at being a spiker. Winning is really cool, but when we lose, we learn from what we did wrong. Having fun is what stands out and what matters.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I like going swimming and playing volleyball at the beach.
What are your favorite kinds of movies and do you have a favorite?
I like comedies, drama and horror, but I don’t have a favorite movie.
Do you want to play volleyball in college?
I’d like to, but I mainly want to be able to go to school to be a doctor, so that’s the main thing. But it would be cool to be able to play in college.