Though her senior season did not go according to plan, Serena Patterson perfectly ended her tenure as a Red Oak Lady Hawk volleyball standout.
The 5-foot-10 middle blocker signed her National Letter of Intent Wednesday, Nov. 15 with the University of Texas at El Paso. Her proud parents, who are UTEP alumni, could not contain their excitement as they watched Patterson sign along the bottom line with the Division I university.
Her father, Frederick Patterson, was a four-year letterman on the UTEP football team and her mother, Paige McKenzie Patterson, lettered in three seasons on the women's basketball team.
“I am super excited. I have worked really hard to get back to what I’ve missed this year," Patterson said. “I chose UTEP because my parents went there previously and I felt like they treated me like family. They even came and supported me at my games.”
“It was ultimately my decision, but they [my parents] told me it was a good school and had good coaches. And it felt like family.”
Patterson recorded 80 of her 91 blocks and 173 of her 183 kills in the first 21 matches of the season. An injury during warmups between tournament matches held her out of action for most of the 2017 season. She appeared in just eight sets following the head injury.
Over the last two seasons, Patterson accounted for 588 kills at a .333 clip with 363 total blocks. She led all of District 10-5A with 405 blocks during her junior season on the way to an all-district first-team selection.
In the official university announcement, UTEP volleyball head coach Holly Watts stated, "Serena has the ability to play anywhere on the court, so she can add depth to any part of our depth chart with her athleticism and volleyball IQ. She has a background with teams accustomed to winning and will bring that same mentality to the Miners."