Heathcott brought the heat for volleyball

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Heathcott brought the heat for volleyball

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports/Online Editor

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Daryan Heathcott brought out the heat in her last name all season long for Bakersfield College’s volleyball team.

Her impressive sophomore campaign, which included a state-leading 452 kills and capped off with an All-Southern California selection, gave the Renegades a needed scoring threat as they managed to reach the second round of the regional playoffs.

Once the final serve was dished out and third-ranked El Camino College ended 11th-ranked Bakersfield College’s season on Nov. 28, Heathcott immediately realized that was her last moment as a Renegade.

It hasn’t been an easy road for the six-foot matchup nightmare, but her competitive nature became a realization of her ongoing success.

Born and raised in Bakersfield, volleyball was just a recreational outlet for her, beginning in eighth grade at Rio Bravo-Greeley School where she played for the school.

“I was athletic,” Heathcott said in retrospect to her advantage with the sport.

“I was one of the tallest people at RBG and I was powerful, but I was just having fun with it.”

Heathcott jokingly stated her power was there since birth but credits having two older brothers as well.

Prior to high school, she joined a local volleyball club team, Club Jamba, and saw immediate strides as she made Frontier High School’s junior varsity team as a 14-year-old freshman.

“We had a great team that year, and it  (volleyball) never got old,” she said. “I played club every summer after that, so I played volleyball year-round.”

Heathcott mentioned her and her mother became close because of the sport, and regardless of where the sport takes her, family will be a deciding-factor.

As a junior and senior at Frontier, she totaled 208 kills and 117 blocks in 171 sets for the Titans before graduating in 2013.

Her playing time was limited in her first year at BC under head coach Carl Ferriera as she tore her meniscus following her senior year, but she valued her moments of learning on a sophomore-heavy team.

“I’ve completely turned around 180 degrees since my first year here,” Heathcott said. “I’ve really understood the mental side of the game, and I had teammates my freshman year who helped me improve.”

Due to an academic slip, she redshirted last season and for Ferreira, he knew timing was the most important factor for Heathcott’s progression.

“She has grown as a human being, she has grown as an athlete, and she’s better because of it…you cannot teach time,” Ferreira said.

Ferreira also stated how Heathcott’s “great” attitude, work ethic, and not cheating herself with the game (whether it’s practice or being a redshirt) led to her great play.

It took time for Heathcott to really look past her doubts, and the cross between her confidence and her high level of play took notice.

“It’s crazy to think what I accomplished this season with that many kills and being No. 1 in the state. I never thought I would be in such an amazing position. I had a goal to win this season and I’m a competitive person, so I did everything I could to be successful,” she said.

As for what’s forthcoming for Heathcott now that her BC career is over, she remains confident toward her next volleyball endeavor, which coach Ferreira included California State University–Stanislaus as a possible landing spot.

“I really don’t have a preference with where I go. I obviously want to go where I’m wanted, so I’m kind of just waiting for the best opportunity to roll around – as long as I keep playing I’m going to be happy no matter what level,” Heathcott stated.

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