Eva Oyola’s leadership and volleyball skills give the Plant City Raiders a boost.
Plant City High School’s volleyball team is rather young — only two seniors are on the roster — but it’s not lacking in leadership. One such leader is setter and right side hitter Eva Oyola, a sophomore whom coach Sara Tooman said has stepped up to set a good example for her teammates. Oyola’s also pretty good on the court: on Monday, for example, she helped Plant City beat Bartow, 3-2, with 20 assists, 18 digs and three serving aces.
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How long have you been playing?
Around five to six years.
What got you into it?
I’ve played basically every sport but really found volleyball interesting. I started at the YMCA.
What’s your favorite position to play out there?
I’ve been setting for a long time, but I really like playing back row and defense and passing the ball.
How’s the season going for Plant City, in your opinion?
It’s going pretty well. We have a lot of things to work on, but we have a lot of talent. When we come together, we play really well.
What’s a goal you’re trying to achieve this year, on or off the court?
My personal goal would have to be to get better with my vertical and work on my technique.
How do you think this season’s going to turn out?
I think we’re going to end the season with a pretty good record because, in every single game, we show a new side of us. We just keep playing harder and harder.
What new side of this team came out in Monday’s win?
This past game, it was definitely endurance. We did a five-setter Monday and on Thursday, we also went to five sets. It was a lot of endurance and a lot of hustle on every single play, no matter how tired we were. That was something I was proud of myself and my teammates for.
To be a good leader, how do you handle yourself?
It’s all about positive attitudes before and after the game, no matter if you win the point or lose the point. I like to remind me and my teammates that we have to keep pushing no matter the score, and no matter what’s happening.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten for volleyball, maybe something you think anyone who wants to play the sport well should know?
That nothing can stop you. I’m very short, but my goal is to play in college. The best advice I got was from watching inspirational videos for volleyball players on YouTube and to keep working. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. As long as you put in the hard work, you can play. You can be where you want to be in the future.
What’s your dream school, then?
My dream school is Stanford, but I also like UCF. I want to major in forensics. I really love Criminal Minds.