Madison Monserez did not always have the intention to play volleyball at the University of Florida. In fact, there was a time where she thought she wanted to go anywhere but UF.
“It was pretty funny; I actually never really wanted to go here. I just wanted my own kind of thing, I told my parents ‘I want to do my own thing, I want to go out of state, and I want to be away from home,” said Monserez.
But, Florida began to grow on her. Madison walked onto the volleyball team in the fall of 2011, and saw action in 71 sets as a freshman.
“It was funny because the more I looked at UF, the more appealing it was as far as sports and academics, and it kind of was just the perfect fit with everything I thought I was trying to get away from, it really just worked out…The academics are amazing and the athletics are just the best of all,” said Monserez.
Monserez went to high school in Orlando, Florida at Bishop Moore Catholic High School which made it to the State semifinals with Monserez on the team as a senior in 2010. Her volleyball club program, Orlando Volleyball Academy, has many players who go on to play collegiate volleyball.
Being part of such high-level programs made her decision to play at Florida easier.
“I played on a pretty competitive club team, so a lot of my teammates went to a lot of top schools. Our team in high school was always competing for Varsity championships, so I really liked the fact that they [Florida] really emphasize winning at a high level all the time,” said Monserez.
When she arrived at Florida as a freshman walk-on, Monserez knew she was going to have to work hard to get on the court.
“I knew I was going to have to fight regardless of where I went, so I just came with the mindset of wherever I go I’m going to play as hard as I can and if that’s enough then I’ll play, and if not I’ll just have to keep working harder,” said Monserez.
Her hard work paid off. She played in every set for the Gators in the 2012 season, and was third on the team in digs, averaging two per set, and was one of just four teammates who played in all 110 sets.
The 2012 season ended with a loss to Texas in three sets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Monserez says the loss motivated the team during off-season workouts.
Monserez believes hard work in the off-season on the fundamentals, and motivation from the loss to Texas, will be important to the team’s success in 2013.