This week's Athlete of the Week feature is sponsored by Bond Clinic.
Daisie Novak, a 5-foot-4 junior setter for the Bartow High volleyball, is having a strong season for the Yellow Jackers (9-8 as of Sept. 14).
Novak has a team-leading 383 assists so far this season through 45 total sets of competition — good for an average of 8.5 assists per set. Novak also has a team-high 24 aces while serving and is fourth on the roster with 121 digs.
A Bartow native, Novak plays travel volleyball for No Limits.
How is it different playing your second season at the varsity level?
I feel more comfortable with it because I’ve been able to play with the girls longer and I just feel like the longer that we play together, the better we’ll be.
What has the team done well so far this season and what is an area where it could improve?
We’ve done good with not giving up in the middle of the match. We keep pushing and we communicate well. I think we could (improve) our confidence.
Which matches this season stand out as the team’s best?
I think our best matches have been our first tournament in Orlando and, even with our regular season games, I think against Winter Haven we did really good.
How long have you been playing the game and how did you get started?
I’ve been playing for seven years. I started when my dad became the athletic director at a church and he was like “let’s try volleyball.”
What made you stick with volleyball as opposed to other sports that you tried?
I think I was just more passionate about volleyball. I guess I wasn’t as good at the other sports as I was volleyball.
What are some matches remaining on the schedule that you are looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to playing McKeel (Academy) this week (Sept. 19) and George Jenkins (Oct. 1).
Why do you think you have improved as much as you have?
I think it’s because, from last year to this year, I really worked hard to improve. I hustle more and I’m more vocal on the court.
Which teammate is the funniest and who is the most positive?
Ella (Manley) is probably the funniest. And then the most encouraging would probably be Danielle Sharpe.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
I enjoy math. I’m taking Algebra 2 and I like it because I understand it more than any other subject.
Do you have any inclination as to what you might study in college?
I think I want to go into business, but I haven’t fully decided.
What do you like to do with you free time?
I like watching “Vampire Diaries on Netflix. I like it because it’s about teenagers and their lives and them going through stuff. Elena is my favorite character because she has a lot of hard things and she gets through it.
Who is your role model?
My biggest role model would probably be my mom.
What do you like about playing for coach Crystal Ramsey?
I love her as a coach because she doesn’t doubt us — she always has confidence in us. In the middle of the game, she’ll pull us back together as a team and points out what we need to do.