Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
Weeki Wachee

Serama parts in sweet sorrow

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For Weeki Wachee and Chreslyn Serama, the 2013 season could surely be defined as a breakout campaign.

After going a combined 7-36 over their first two varsity runs, the Lady Hornets finished 16-11 and became the first team in any sport in school history to advance to regionals.

Serama was quite literally at the center of it all, the junior middle hitter pacing the team with 246 kills, as well as recording 48 aces and 20 blocks.

Those numbers combined with the team's performance helped earn her Hernando Today Player of the Year honors.

"I feel very accomplished because I worked so hard to get to where I am right now," Serama said. "It makes me very happy. Last year I wasn't the player I was this year.

"I think we made major improvements from what we did last year. I loved my team, we all played great together, and we couldn't have asked for a better season."

It was a remarkable story of a young program and player paying dues and earning the pay off - and it came incredibly close to never taking place.

A couple weeks into the season, circumstances caused Serama's mother to relocate the family to Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Suddenly Serama was faced with the possibly of leaving behind the Lady Hornets, and sitting out, at least on the prep level, until next year.

Eventually she was able to stay with her aunt, ensuring she could at least see the season through to the end.

"The week after that whole ordeal happened, I wasn't myself at all," Serama said. "I had to get it off my mind and just play.

"It meant a lot to me to stick around. My team, I didn't want to leave them. I knew I was one of our main players. I felt like I'd be abandoning them."

"After she knew what she was doing and was able to stay, she started playing and had a very good season there on after," Weeki Wachee head coach Kelly Werkmeister said.

It would serve as her swan song with the Lady Hornets. She hasn't been at Weeki Wachee for two months.

By the weekend following the Lady Hornets' regional quarterfinal loss at Fivay in early November, Serama hit the road to rejoin her family in the Volunteer State.

She now attends Riverdale High, where she'll play her senior season, and has joined a new club team up in Tennessee.

Facing such an abrupt ending to her time at Weeki Wachee added another hurdle to overcome.

"I tried not to think about it," Serama said. "I didn't want to face it. I cried a lot thinking about it. I've been with that team for three years in club and high school. And I've never changed coaches before. It (stinks)."

Even with those outside distractions, Serama exhibited her progress on the court. She stepped up in big spots, with 10 kills in the Class 5A, District 7 semifinal victory over Wesley Chapel.

She added 16 kills, four blocks and three aces in the 5A-7 final against Hernando, though the Lady Hornets couldn't solve the Lady Leopards on that night.

Local coaches recognized her efforts, anointing her the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 10 Player of the Year for 5A.

"We worked on setting and my hitting," Serama said. "I was able to spot targets. And I got a higher vertical.

"My game-play quickened. I was able to pick out weakness on other teams and target the players I wanted."

"She found her rhythm," Werkmeister said. "She was ready for everything. She was the most in-shape player I had. Chreslyn was always on the go.

"She's going to be missed. . I can't replace what she brought but I'll try my hardest. Everybody has to be replaced sooner or later."

Serama hopes to build on what she has already accomplished, even as she adjusts to her new surroundings, and earn a college scholarship.

She may be moving forward, but she admits she'll still be keeping an eye on Weeki Wachee and pulling for her former teammates and school.

"With me gone, it doesn't mean they can't do what we did last year," Serama said. "I felt we all did amazing. We accomplished so much and I can only expect them to keep going.

"I love them all and I wish them the best."

cbernhardt@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5288

By the numbers: Chreslyn Serama

Year Kills Blocks Aces

Jr 246 20 48

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