- September 13, 2016
ORLANDO Brynna Deluzio celebrated her Senior Night at The First Academy by recording a team-high 15 kills, chipping in 15 digs along the way to lead the Royals (11-1) to an easy sweep of visiting Lake Nona.
Afterward, head coach Haley Malone — whose five years with the program directly mirror Deluzio's — couldn't help but remember the pair's first season together.
"I just flashback to when she was on the court in the state championship game (in 2012)," Malone said. "She was just this tiny eighth-grader, with braces, trying to keep up with everybody, super skinny — just crushing balls."
Five years later, as a senior committed to play in college for Colorado, Deluzio is putting up numbers that illustrate her desire to get her team back to the state final for the first time since 2013. Deluzio, who plays as an outside hitter for the Royals but will play libero in college, leads the team in kills with 154 and is second behind fellow senior Laney Green in digs at 112.
"I'm just super impressed with her and how much she has grown," Malone said.
You've been through four Senior Nights prior to this during your five years in the program — what it's like to finally celebrate your Senior Night?
Watching everyone before me — every year it gets to this point (in the season) and now it's finally here and it's just crazy to think about.
What's your assessment of the team's performance so far this season and its strengths in racing out to an 11-1 start?
We're definitely not the tallest of teams, but I think we really make up for it in defense and every aspect. We just have the will to win and we go out here and just have fun.
Which of those 11 wins so far this fall are you proudest of?
Definitely West Orange so far. (They're a) big, public school. Some of my teammates (from the club season) play for (West Orange) and we (the Royals) just really banded together.
What do you enjoy about playing for TFA that is different from club?
It's just way more relaxed and more fun.
Of the games remaining on the schedule, which are you looking forward to the most?
Probably Bishop Moore (Oct. 11, at Bishop Moore), because they're ranked No. 1 in the country.
What was it about the University of Colorado that set it apart from the other schools recruiting you?
Both of my parents went to Colorado and it's Pac-12 — it's a good conference.
What are you hoping to major in at Colorado?
What's your non-volleyball dream job?
I've always wanted to be a professional surfer.