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Sheridan Zarda Finds Comfort in Family Feeling

July 7, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

There were many components that drew K-State volleyball's new defensive specialist Sheridan Zarda to K-State, however none were more important than family.


Living close to her hometown of Shawnee, Kansas, Zarda, a redshirt sophomore, transferred to K-State for the Spring 2014 semester after spending two seasons at Nebraska.

"One of the main factors in coming to K-State was that it is closer to home," said Zarda. "I'm very much a family person. I have nieces and nephews, so being close to home was a main factor, but also just the atmosphere of the family here at K-State. It just really appealed to me."

As a true freshman at Nebraska during the 2012 season, Zarda played in 19 matches with the Cornhuskers. She tallied 27 digs and three aces in 43 sets her first season and was named a Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll recipient in the fall of 2012. Zarda redshirted the 2013 season but was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team before transferring to K-State.

Today, after spending the past six months with the Wildcats, Zarda has enjoyed getting used to the new system.

"It's been a lot more fun," she said about K-State. "We always work our butts off in the gym, no matter what. Suzie (Fritz) has been the major factor of the differences between the two schools just because she really cares about each player genuinely. That was something that really just hit home with me. I wanted to work with someone who really truly cared about not only the volleyball player, but also the person inside."

Also making the transition a smooth one for Zarda is teammate Dallas Gardner. Zarda and Gardner, a junior, played for St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas, where the two helped their high school team to three Kansas Class 4A State Championships, including a national championship in 2010.

"It's just so much fun," Zarda said about playing alongside her high school teammate. "She's been a bubbly, totally caring person, just like she was in high school. It's really exciting to play with someone from my past again."

But it's not just Gardner who has helped Zarda in her transition. Zarda said fitting in with her new teammates was no trouble at all.

"Kersten Kober and Katie Reininger are two of the girls who I really have accepted me and made me feel more at home here because they've been here a long time," said Zarda. "They really have made me feel like a part of the family."

Now a part of the K-State family, there is no doubt Zarda is eager to get on the court and represent K-State. Filled with energy and passion for the game, Zarda is ready to show Wildcat fans exactly what she is made of.

"My style? I like to be loud; I like to frustrate hitters," Zarda said about her playing style. "That's something in practice during the spring that I've been really putting myself to work at: frustrate hitters, let nothing hit the floor, but also be that little energizer bunny who just keeps going."

Finally, as for her goals during her time at K-State, Zarda hopes to use her passion for the game to help encourage others.

"During my time here at K-State I really want to show people that passion in the game is one of the main things people need to have to play any sport," explained Zarda. "Not only do you play for yourself, but play for everyone out there that maybe looks up to you, can't play or wants to play, and just be there for them and show them that volleyball is so much fun to play."

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.