Athlete Spotlight: Casey Slezak

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Andrew Pawling

A sparkplug on the beach volleyball team, Casey Slezak is looking to make the most out of her sophomore season at FSC.

Slezak, a gymnast and indoor volleyball player during her youth and high school years, grew up in Naperville Illinois before moving to Land O Lakes, Florida, following her high school graduation in 2017.

It was during her time as a gymnast that Slezak learned one of the most valuable lessons for an athlete, perseverance.

“Back when I was a gymnast, I had been really sick leading up to a meet and gymnastics isn’t like other sports where you play all the time, you only get a couple meets a year so I powered through and ended up doing really well and finishing top all around in the meet,” Slezak said. “I was able to push myself and surprise some people.”

The decision to switch to beach volleyball in college was one of the key factors in her choosing FSC over other colleges.

Florida Southern had just introduced a beach volleyball program that’s first season would co-inside with Slezaks freshman year. Slezak feels that it was this newfound challenge and uncharted territory that made her want to play at FSC. It is this mindset that the team hopes to base its success on this year.

“We have such an amazing support group in our program,” Slezak said. “Coach Hyrum is great, and we have a really good atmosphere which makes playing with this group so enjoyable.”

Slezak, nicknamed “Nug” by her teammates, has made plenty of memories in her time with the team, however, one stands out above the rest.

“Last year during our first match we had to figure out how to set everything up and seeing students and family come by and watch us play,” Slezak said. “It was a really cool experience to see how to set it all up and it being our first match for the program it was a great team bonding experience.”

As an honors scholar, Slezak takes pride in her work on the court and in the classroom where she double majors in Chemistry and Applied Mathematics. Her dream job would be a chemical engineer, which would require her to have full time internships the next couple of summers prior to graduation.

 

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