A to Z with Kayla Simmons


Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.

SCHOOL: P.K. Yonge

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P.K. Yonge senior Kayla Simmons is the lone senior on the Blue Wave's 28-1 volleyball team, which has advanced to the Class 4A regional finals.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer

YEAR: Senior

POSITION: Setter

NUMBER: 9

HEIGHT: 5-foot-9

Area volleyball player I'd pay to watch play: Jac'cara (Walker) probably because she's such a dynamic player. She's the best outside in the area. I've been playing with her for so long. She's just an amazing player.

Best movie I've seen: “Step Brothers.”

Coach Chad Davis' best words of advice: “Our worst enemy is ourselves.”

Defeating 22 straight opponents after losing to St. Francis on Sept. 11 has been possible for my team because: We just worked hard in preseason and after the loss to St. Francis we really turned it on. That kind of motivated us to work hard in practice and not let that happen again.

Expectations I had for the Blue Wave this year following a tumultuous offseason, including a new coaching hire and the transfer of Jordyn Saulsberry to Ocala Trinity Catholic: I knew coach Chad was a great coach, so I had good expectations coming into this. But I never knew we could do this well, especially playing the schedule we played.

Feeling I had after being honored as the Blue Wave's lone senior this season after playing on varsity since middle school: It was really emotional because I'm the only senior and I've been here since seventh grade, so it's been a long journey and it finally coming to an end feels weird.

Getting a kill, block or service ace to win a match: Definitely a block. That's the most energetic I think after getting a block.

How I would describe my role on the team: Since I'm older, they look up to me as a leader, and when things are going wrong, they look at me. I just think of them as my sisters.

Interesting thing about myself away from volleyball: Before I did volleyball, I did competitive cheerleading for five years, and I won three national championships with that.

Joker on the volleyball team: Eboni (Harris) never tries, but she always makes the whole team laugh and she doesn't even try.

Key to winning two more games and reaching the Class 4A state finals: The team that works the hardest and the team who gives the most in practice is going to win. We have been giving everything we have in practice the past two weeks especially.

Least favorite P.K. Yonge sports moment: When we lost to St. Francis this year. We played such a bad game and St. Francis played great, so it was just horrible for me.

Major I'd like to study in college: I haven't really decided yet, but I'm looking at sports psychology.

Nickname: People just call me “K.”

One person who inspires me the most: My parents because they always just push me through everything and never let me give up in anything I do.

Pre-match ritual: Our whole team listens to “Gas Pedal” before every game. We listen to like 30 seconds of it, and we all dance.

Quiet-time activity: I like to listen to music. That's what I usually do.

Reason I committed to play volleyball for Marshall University on a full scholarship: I really liked all of the girls on the team and I think the school was really nice and I like the campus and everything. It was cool.

Seeing my team's rise to the No. 1 overall ranking in the state and No. 15 nationally, according to MaxPreps.com: It has been forever since P.K. has been ranked anywhere, so it was really cool getting to see that my senior year.

Toughest part of trying to balance success on the court and still maintaining a high GPA: Finding time on the bus going to games I usually do all of my homework and I get back and sometimes I have to stay up till 12 o'clock at night. I get no sleep, but I get both.

Ultimate goal as a volleyball player: I just want to win as many games as I can, and I want to go to school for four years and play all the college games that I can.

Vacation spot I love: I've never been there, but I've always wanted to go to Greece. It's just the little villages and places. They look so cool.

Which of my team's 27 wins has been the most satisfying this season: Beating Berkeley (Prep on Aug. 28) was probably my favorite. It went to five, and it was a really good game.

Xbox, PlayStation or Wii? I never play video games, but I used to play Wii. I really don't play that anymore.

Year I was born: 1995.

Zoo animal I like most: Tiger.

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