Basketball season won’t start for another month, but UCLA has been impressed enough by Costa’s skills at center in her first three high school years to offer her a scholarship to play basketball, which she recently accepted. “I was really excited about it when I first got offered,” she said.
What makes the offer from a top school more impressive is that the Lions had a subpar season last year, ending up 6-9 in league and 9-17 overall, according to maxpreps.com. “Last year we had kind of a shaky year,” said Costa. “But I think this year we are going to definitely be a force to reckon with. We will be top notch. We have a bunch of good girls.”
In the meantime, Costa is focusing on volleyball, a sport in which she could be dubbed “Killer” Costa due to formidable skill at hammering balls over the net for easy points. “She makes a big difference,” said Liberty Coach Linda Ghilarducci. “She averages double figures every time in kills.”
Costa had 19 kills against Freedom on Oct. 22. Two days before, against a much tougher Heritage team, Costa notched 20 kills. Asked what she likes about volleyball, she said, “I like the intensity, the back and forth, just being scrappy about it. And getting kills.”
When she’s not killing the ball, Costa’s blocking it. It’s a definite advantage when you’re tall enough to reach your arms a foot or more above the net without having to leave the ground, sending opponents’ spikes back in their faces or, better yet, to empty spots on the floor for points. Costa made seven blocks leading to points against Heritage and six against Freedom.
Ghilarducci was happy with her team’s strong performance against Freedom, especially coming off a loss to Heritage, whom they had beaten in their first encounter. “We were consistent,” she said. “I got everybody in and they did their job. I was really proud of them. I think we played well.”
The win boosted Liberty’s record to 8-3 in league and 15-10 overall. Ghilarducci is also pleased with the way things have been going so far this season, crediting the team’s offense and serving as its two strengths. “I think they’ve worked hard to be where they are,” she said. “The competition in the league, it’s really been between the top three teams (Liberty, Heritage and Deer Valley), it’s been really good. So it’s been a good season.”
Liberty hosted the Second Annual Dig for the Cure Tuesday in a game against Deer Valley, the results of which were not available at press time. The Wolverines hosted the breast cancer fundraiser last year in which the two teams raised $5,000 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure organization from pledges for each dig (preventing an opponent’s spike from hitting the floor) during the match.