Athletics

Panther volleyball star heads to Duke

IMG_3344Palm Beach State College alumna and former volleyball setter Haley Seyfarth achieved great success during her time at Palm Beach State.

Her excellence on the court got the attention of six NCAA Division I and Division II universities, all of which offered her a full scholarship to play this fall. She chose Duke University in Durham, NC.

During her two years at Palm Beach State, she was the first Panther volleyball player to be named as a NJCAA Division I First Team All-American for her athletic skills and helped lead the Panthers to a Southern Conference Championship for the first time in 11 years.

In addition, Seyfarth was named as the Roberta Stokes Scholar-Athlete Award winner for the 2016-17 school year. This prestigious award is given to one student athlete in the state each year. Nominees are judged on a number of criteria including overall GPA, on the court contribution and community service.

Originally from Bentonville, AR, Seyfarth sat down to answer a few questions about her volleyball experiences, her time at Palm Beach State and her future.

IMG_3345 (002)When did you first get introduced to volleyball and what do you love about the sport?
I was first introduced when I was in elementary school. I grew up watching my sister play in a recreational league, and once I was old enough I joined that same league. The volleyball court is a place where I can forget about anything that is going on in my life and just get away for a little while to do my thing. I love being able to detach from the world for a little bit to play a sport that brings me so much joy.

What made you decide to attend Palm Beach State College?
When I visited Palm Beach State, I liked the vibe the school gave off. The people were friendly and the school wasn’t too big or too small. Coach Drew did a great job of making sure I knew everything I possibly could about Palm Beach State and of course being 10 minutes from the beach was a plus.

You were recognized for your athletic skills and grades both in high school and at Palm Beach State. What do you believe led to this success?
I was always taught that you are a student athlete, and there is a reason student comes before athlete in the name. I put grades ahead of volleyball because without good grades, I wouldn’t be able to play volleyball. Also volleyball was paying for my education at Palm Beach State so I felt obligated to represent the team in the best way possible off the court and in the classroom.

What made you decide to join the volleyball team at Duke University?
I had a few offers to stay in Florida at some really great schools, but I thought to myself that maybe I should go out and explore what another state has to offer me if I have learned to love Florida as much as I do. Duke is also an outstanding academic school with a great volleyball program and team. The girls were very welcoming when I went on my official visit and have fully accepted me joining the team so quickly.

What did you learn from coach Drew Colvin that you will take with you to Duke?
Coach Drew definitely taught me a lot as a person and a player. I would say one of the main things I will take to Duke with me is that no one can change what is happening on and off the court except yourself. You have to take responsibility for your actions, as well as holding your teammates accountable for their own actions. We’re on our own now. It’s time to grow up and be the adults we claim to be.

How would you describe your overall PBSC experience?
Overall, I absolutely loved my PBSC experience. Of course, there were a few rough patches, but I have matured and grown so much from my two years in Lake Worth; it really is quite shocking. I want to thank Palm Beach State for the lifelong friendships and many laughs and memories it has given me. I really wouldn’t change the first two years of my college experience here for anything.

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