Brazilian phenom Silva spikes the competition: Lady Saint receives 3 KJCCC awards and an NJCAA award

The halls of Seward County Community College/Area Technical School have seen many great athletes pass through them. Cory Patton, Kim Ortega, Martin Lewis and Melvin Sanders are just a few of the many. The SCCC/ATS athletic department is constantly producing elite talent in a wide-range of sports. This year’s volleyball team has found itself a rising-star with almost unlimited potential on the court. Brazilian freshman Thayna Silva has been a more than adequate addition to this year’s squad. Silva has aided the Lady Saints volleyball team get to a 10-3 record in the Jayhawk West, while winning three KJCCC Player of the Week award and an NJCAA Player of the Week award. “She is our number one hitter on the team,” said Head Volleyball Coach Bert Luallen. The Saints outside hitter stands at only 5-foot-9-inches but once she takes the court, she seems to tower over her opponents. It probably doesn’t hurt to have an insane vertical leap such as hers. Silva came to SCCC/ATS from Suzono, Sao Paulo, Brazil and stated that volleyball there is so competitive that she doesn’t even consider herself to be one of the top players back home. Having come from an ultra-competitive environment seems to have helped prepare her for the challenges she would face on the court here in America. To contrast the two environments she said, “I have rivalries back home, but here I get along with the girls on the team.” She has been playing for seven years now and loves it. Teammate Morgan Riley describes her by saying, “she is just a really good player overall.” Away from the nets, Silva is a member of the International Student Organization at SCCC/ATS and is majoring in business. She says that once she is done with school she plans on staying here in the states. Before coming here Silva had never been to the U.S. and she didn’t know anybody once she did get here. She arrived in Liberal two weeks after school had started and a month after volleyball practices had started. As if that was not hard enough for her, there was also a more challenging issue. When she arrived in the U.S. she didn’t speak English, only Portuguese. The language barrier has been a challenge for her, but she is learning quickly. “Communication is hard, but I try to talk with people as well as I can”, said Silva about how she deals with the challenge of the language barrier. Silva has already had to face a myriad of challenges since arriving, and she seems well on her way to conquering them. Does the future look bright for this talented young freshman? Certainly. Can she out-jump you? Probably. Will she join the list of elite athletes that this school will always remember? Possibly, only time will tell. Fans who would like to view Silva and the rest of the Lady Saints volleyball team can watch them in action Dodge City in the Green House Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The match will be a Region VI Tournament play-in match.