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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 1 month ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Victoria Cortese

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Cortese is the only senior of the Lions varsity team.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Foundation Academy girls volleyball team libero Victoria Cortese is the only senior of the Lions varsity team. Cortese is excited to embark on her college journey next year; she will attend Valencia College and later transfer to the University of Central Florida. Despite being a homeschooled student at Abeka, she still is able to play for the Lions. 

Tell us about your years as an athlete.
I’ve been involved in sports since I was in kindergarten; I’ve always been in sports. My parents always put me in (sports), so that’s why I play basketball and sand volleyball. Every season has a sport. 

How do you feel being the only senior of the team this year? 
I’m so excited. 

Why play volleyball? 
I’ve always had such a passion for volleyball. It’s a fun sport. I like the competition and how I can cheer at the end too. It’s just so much fun. 

How did you get into volleyball? 
My mom (Tennille Cortese) played it when she was younger. 

What do you love most about volleyball as a sport? 
I love the team. The team is great. I love being able to be a leader on the court. I love leadership. 

What do you love most about playing libero? 
I love passing; it’s my favorite thing. It comes natural to me. I just love being on the ground and going for everything.

What has been the hardest skill for you to learn in volleyball? Why? 
When I used to hit, it probably would’ve been hitting. But, maybe reading the ball — being able to watch the ball. Because of the passes, you (have) to move quicker. (Also) reacting to the ball. 

What do you believe volleyball has taught you not only on the court but also off of it?
It’s taught me leadership, how to be a good person and a good teammate. And not get down on myself or anybody else. It’s taught me how to build other people up and to put myself below everybody else. 

What’s your favorite movie? 
“Moana.” I love the island and the beach. I got sick when I was in seventh grade, and I watched it the whole time I was in the hospital. She saved me. 

What’s a book you are reading right now? 
“November 9” by Colleen Hoover. 

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween? 
Probably pumpkins. My sister loves to paint them, so we always paint and carve them.

Any favorite Halloween character? 
No, I’m more of a Christmas girl. 

Who is your favorite superhero? Why? 
Batman — He’s just cool, and my brother loves him. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? 
Time travel. I’d like to go back in time and allow myself to slow down a little more. 

What’s a hobby of yours? 
I like coloring. 

What are three places you would like to visit? Why? 
Italy, because I like the food and I’m Italian a little bit. Probably some beach place, Bora Bora — it’s really pretty there — and The Bahamas. It’s cool there, too. 

What are three things you would bring with you to a deserted island? 
Food, because I love food; probably my phone; and my mom. 

If you could be any animal for a day, which one would it be and why? 
A manatee, because they are my favorite animals. They are so cute; I love them. 

What are three things on your bucket list? 
Probably traveling, trying new foods and getting married — but that’s not a bucket-list item. 

Where are you going to go to college? 
Valencia (College) to do my AA, and then I’m going to transfer to the University of Central Florida. 

Expectations for the remainder of the season? 
I hope we can get far in districts; that’d be super fun. Work hard and be a team. 

What are you most excited about college? 
Doing new things, meeting new people. Just (creating) new experiences.  

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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