Daiane Souza Sophomore shows leadership on court

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Members of the Seward County Community College volleyball family may think those who are not familiar with the name Daiane Souza have probably been living under a rock for the past two years. The ferocious 5-feet-9-inch Brazilian standout came to Seward County in the fall of 2010 to play volleyball and study administration. Though she is a feared powerhouse on the court, she is much less intense off the court. Upon arriving in the United States, she realized that she wasn’t just coming to a new country, but she was coming to a country where nobody spoke the same language she did. “I only spoke Portuguese then,” Souza said, “I still get real nervous when I speak to people. I’m nervous now.” A determined young woman, she learned how to speak English in only three months with the help of her teammates. “They help me speak English; I tell them how to say some words in Portuguese,” Souza said shyly. “Even some bad words.” “She’s such a funny, sweet girl,” teammate Bailey McFerren said, “But on the court she is a leader, and makes sure we all have our heads on straight.” Unfortunately, Souza severely twisted her ankle against Barton County when she stepped on a setter’s foot. Although she has been out for three weeks, her spirits are still high. “She is always upbeat about everything,” teammate Aubrey Young said. “I know she wants to be out there with us though, and it hurts so badly seeing her on the bench.” Obvious as it is, she is a motivator and role model for the younger women on the team and her teammates are missing her on the court. “She pushes herself and everyone else on the court,” Lakeria Eatmon said, “Not only to be better players, but to be better people.” With the season coming closer to its end, she anticipates a triumphant return to the court before sophomore recognition night Oct. 20. “We have a lot of talent this season, and once I come back,” Souza said, “I think we will make it to nationals.” After graduating from Seward County — and hopefully winning nationals — Souza plans to return home to her family in Santa Isabel, Brazil, and possibly get a job working with and coaching children. “I worked here with the little kids volleyball team, and I just loved it. It’s good for the kids to have someone to look up to.”