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Mikayla’s He(Art) Stolen

Kenzie DeFoney, Guest Contributor

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Since freshman year you have seen her on the court as number two. She sets the Vikings’ way to victory with her unwavering dedication and effortless talent. Off the court, however, who is Mikayla Lanasa?     

Mikayla started playing volleyball when she was in fifth grade, when her mom signed her up to do a camp through the high school summer program.

“I just wanted to get involved in another sport because I had quit dance so my mom signed me up for this camp and I ended up loving it,” said Mikayla. After that experience, her mind was set on volleyball.

Mikayla’s freshman year she started on the JV team and since sophomore year she has been on varsity.  “My greatest achievement would have to be just how much I have improved over the years. I can definitely see that I have gotten better in games,” Mikayla said.

When asked about what encourages her to keep playing, Mikayla’s answer was immediate. “I would definitely say my mom and my sister inspire me because my mom was a really good volleyball player in highschool, so I just wanted to follow in her footsteps,” she said.  That inspiration is what drives her to play each game like it is her last and maintain that improvement she’s so proud of.

Despite her progress and motivation, Mikayla has decided it is time to put her jersey away and focus on what drives her. Mikayla, besides being a varsity setter, is also in digital photography classes, where she has found a true passion.

“I want to major in biology, and minor in photography,” Mikayla said.  “I started taking pictures around 8th grade and my mom said that I have a ‘good eye,’ so I decided to further my skill,” she said.

The College of Charleston’s art program is taken very seriously and this is where Mikayla hopes to further her career.  Mikayla has received praise from the Kane County Art Show, a competition her teacher enrolled her in.

“I got a certificate at the art hall in Geneva for one of my favorite pieces that I took,” she said. (Pictured to the right)>

Mikayla started with nature shots and still enjoys those photo shoots more than any other. “I love exploring new things and with landscape photography it’s an excuse to get out and create memories,” she said.

Mikayla believes the best part of photography is how diverse the artform really is. “You can create whatever you want… there is no right or wrong in photography.”

She wants to advance her skills and has taken three photo classes at the high school.

“The first class I took was film [photography] and then digital and now we’re just building our portfolios,” she said.

When asked why she chose photography instead of volleyball she explained how she wasn’t exactly sure at first but after thinking about it, it was something she thought was more practical.

“I really want to focus more on academics in college and focus on what I want to major in and with photography, it gives me an opportunity to make a career out of something I love,” she answered.

Mikayla explains how even if she could have an opportunity to get paid and still play the sport, that it is something she just isn’t as interested in anymore. She is ready to move on and explore new options.  

“It is very hard to give up volleyball. I have played for so many years… Volleyball has always been there for me and it’s hard to let go,” Mikayla said.

Thankfully she is ready for the next step in her life and is excited for her future college, College of Charleston SC, to help her get there.

“Despite my love for volleyball, photography stole my heart!”

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Mikayla’s He(Art) Stolen