Dedication and skill are taking Kaylee Hickman to new heights on the volleyball court.
The Hillsborough High School senior is only in her second year as a volleyball player, but she is already starting and playing throughout every game while competing against players who have been in the sport for much longer.
"She's a solid player all around," coach Yolanda Whitehead said. "She never lets her emotions get to her, she always one of the most level headed girls on the floor. She's been very valuable for us because of her versatility and committment."
Going into high school, Hickman was a strong swimmer and all around athlete. But after a toe infection kept her out of the pool, Hickman tried her hand at volleyball finding success immediately. Her fateful run in with the infection changed her path to college and after a trip to a tournament in Georgia drew attention to her from coaches at Florida Southern University.
"I'm hoping to play at a Division II or Division III school for college," Hickman said. "I've been dedicated because all of the coaches are great and it seems like I've learned a lot so fast. It's good to be playing and attracting attention from schools."
After starting their season with a victory over Middleton High, the Lady Terriers fell to a more athletic Freedom High earlier this week. Heading into their third matchup of the season against Tampa Bay Tech, coach Whitehead is looking to make sure her team is competing to the best of their ability.
"It's not always about winning or losing, it's about going out there and putting your best foot forward," Whitehead said. "In our last game we didn't do that. We have a tough opponent in Tampa Bay Tech coming up and we need to make sure that we compete better than we did against Freedom."