Bono embraces offensive leadership

Published 7:50 pm Saturday, September 24, 2016

Livi Bono had 27 kills, nine digs and two aces last week for the Lady Saints as they went 2-0 in conference play. Bono’s performance led to her being named the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week.

Bono has always been known as an offensive force for the NSA volleyball team. Not only did she put up great stats offensively last week but also she added an MVP to her collection, as she was the best player at the North Cross High School Invitational.

“My success is all due to my coaches and teammates,” Bono said. “I think my play over the years has gotten more consistent because of the years of practice and being coached by Robyn Ross.”

Email newsletter signup

Last year, Bono was a first-team TCIS selection for volleyball last year. Ross has seen firsthand how rapidly Bono develops each year.

“Watching Livi grow as a person is a gift that I don’t take for granted,” Ross said. “Physically, she has the ability to take over a match with her quick arm swing. She is one of the most athletic people I’ve seen come through our program at NSA.

During the offseason and preseason, Bono wanted to be a better player than she was last year. Last winter, she didn’t play club volleyball, so she was afraid her skills might diminish. Instead, she has worked hard over the summer to turn into a complete player. Her goals are for her team to win the TCIS Conference as well as a state championship. So far, NSA is 3-0 in their conference.

Bono is motivated by the fear of letting her coach down. She is naturally athletic, but with her athleticism comes her discipline to be able to work hard.

“The respect is both ways,” Ross said. “I do not take lightly what my girls sacrifice and the work ethic required to be successful in our program. Livi learned from the girls before her, and now she is doing the same for our younger girls.”

One of those younger girls on the team is Livi’s sister Rylee, who is an eighth-grader. She loves having her on the team and is excited about the opportunity to play with her.

Bono allows her play to speak for herself. Not only does her coach acknowledge it, but also her teammates do as well.

“Livi is so naturally talented and athletic,” senior Nicole Wright said. “Being our leading scorer in points, she is an important contributor to our team’s success.”

Bono takes her classroom duties just as seriously as her play on the court. With this being her senior year, she envisions herself choosing from colleges such as Ole Miss, James Madison University and Virginia Tech. She wants to major in something business-related, perhaps international business.

Choosing to be better athlete comes with discipline, and Bono knows her value to her team, which makes her work even harder to make sure she maintains her skills.

“I love the fact that I am able to help my team any way that I can,” Bono said. “We knew from the beginning of the season what we wanted to accomplish, and we are doing that.”

Bono and the Lady Saints are in action again at Norfolk Collegiate School at 7 p.m. Sept. 27.