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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: 10.20.22

Sarasota Athlete of the Week: 10.20.22

Helena Hebda. (Photo by Ryan Kohn.)
Helena Hebda. (Photo by Ryan Kohn.)
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Helena Hebda is a junior on the Cardinal Mooney High indoor and beach volleyball teams. Hebda had 21 assists Tuesday night in the Cougars' 3-0 home sweep of Out-of-Door Academy. The match was part of the Class 3A, District 11 tournament. Mooney (15-9) will play Bradenton Christian (17-4) at 6 p.m. Thursday at home in the tournament finals. 

When did you start playing volleyball?

I started in the third grade. My sister (Sophia Hebda) is five years older than me and she played club volleyball. I watched her play while I was in third grade and thought it looked fun. I started in both indoor and beach volleyball that year. 

What is the appeal to you?

I love the team aspect of it. You rely on every single person. I can't set without getting a pass. Hitters can't do anything without getting a set. It all works together. It's also a super fun environment with all the fans. 

What is your best skill?

I would say it is hustle plays. I can get to the ball when it is far away. I try to set (the ball) within a good range for the hitters so they can hit. 

What have you been working to improve?

I'm always trying to improve my setting speed. In beach volleyball, when you set, you can lift the ball (have prolonged contact, moving vertically, with the ball) more than in indoor, where you can get called for that more easily. So I am always trying to have a faster release and a better 'indoor set.' 

What is your favorite memory?

My favorite times are always the bus rides, the road trips, the team meals, things like that. My one favorite is winning the state beach volleyball title last year. That whole weekend was great. I love staying at a hotel with everyone. It's so fun. 

What is the mindset of the team as the postseason begins?

We feel good. We have played well the last few games. We have improved so much from the beginning of the season. I'm excited to see how we do once it gets intense, and we're playing super good teams every match. We're confident. The goal is to get to the state tournament and go from there. 

What is your favorite food?

I love sushi. I usually get it from JPAN but I'll eat it from anywhere. 

What is your favorite TV show?

'The Office' and 'Gossip Girl' are my two favorites. 

What is your favorite subject?

I like learning history. especially U.S. history. I think it is important to know that stuff about your own nation. 

Which superpower would you pick?

I would want to be invisible so I could listen to other people's conversations without them knowing. 

What is the best advice you have received?

You only live once. Don't have any regrets. 

Finish this sentence: "Helena Hebda is …"

… Goofy. I try not to take things too seriously and always have fun. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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