Athlete of the Month named
The votes have been tallied, and we have a winner. The Breeze Newspapers’ fan-selected Athlete of the Month for September is Oasis’ Natalie McKenna, a sophomore who excels on the volleyball court for a first place Sharks squad.
McKenna earned her staff-picked Athlete of the Week nod thanks to her impressive start the season, where she slammed 23 kills in three matches, including a 14-kill performance on Aug. 26 versus Community Christian. McKenna also contributed 10 aces and 13 digs that week.
After over a week of calculating online votes from fans, peers, and beyond, McKenna stood above the rest.
“It feels awesome (to be selected as Athlete of the Month) and I feel really supported by everyone,” McKenna said. “I’m very humbled by this experience and I’m really grateful to everyone who has been supporting me.”
McKenna has continued to perform at a high level for Oasis, a team that sits at 8-5 and tied for first in 3A District 8. The underclassman has compiled 56 kills on the year to date, served up 35 aces (21.6 ace percentage), and added 45 digs.
“I think I’ve put a lot more trust in myself and I’ve been more confident in myself, and my teammates me support me and help me,” McKenna said. “I’ve pushed myself a little more this year and have seen how important that’s been.”
McKenna said the goal of the team heading down the stretch is to perform well in district play.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and a couple of downs, but we always come together in the end and always support each other,” she said of her team. “We have a really good bond on and off of the court. We just know each other and know we’re always going to be there if the ball is behind us or in front of us and we put a lot of trust in each another and communicate and talk. We just all have a really good connection.”
Her father, Darren McKenna, added, “She’s very humbled by the honor. She wanted to thank her teammates and coaches — not just from Oasis, but also from Cape Coral Volleyball Academy. We appreciate and thank Breeze Newspapers as well for doing this for the athletes; this is awesome.”
The Breeze Sports staff will continue to be around the area each and every week reporting on local high school sports and selecting two Athletes of the Week, who then will move on to the fan-picked Athlete of the Month.
The online voting system, when open (announced towards the end of each month), can be found at www.capecoralbreeze.com and will feature our staff’s eight selections from that month and the student’s accomplishments that week.
–Connect with Associate Sports Editor CJ Haddad on Twitter: @haddad_cj