San Jac volleyball team breaks national records and leaves impression on 2015 season
12.15.2015 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao
Strong team chemistry, selflessness, and a “ton of heart” carried the San Jacinto College volleyball team back to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Volleyball Championship this year.
After an impressive regional tournament in Tyler, Texas, San Jac headed to nationals in Casper, Wyoming, and ended the season with 28-15 and a roster that broke records. But it was sheer heart, says Head Coach Sharon Nelson, that won over the division this season after the seven-hour marathon play on the final day of regionals.
"They are a group that won’t quit," said Nelson. "After that long of straight play you want to win and just as importantly, you want to get out of that situation healthy. It is literally something that will be talked about for years."
Nelson later received a call from a university coach who has since retold the San Jacinto College volleyball team's story to her team and others.
"I was really moved by what we had accomplished and overcome that day," said Nelson. "But hearing that we inspired someone from a division level higher than ours, that's exactly what this team is about and the message we want to send about our program and our college."
Manon Geoffroy broke into the top 10 eight times for digs in a single match. Her overall record stands with 873 digs, ranking second in the nation for the 2015 season.
Brianna Moten broke into the top 10 for all time attack percentage in a single match – with a hitting percentage of 0.826. She also placed second all time in total blocks (206) in a single season just under Marlaina Pleydle (214) from the 2012 San Jac volleyball team. She also adds her name to the attack percentage for a single season; 0.367 places her sixth all time for the program’s history, tied with Oni Lattin from the 2012 San Jac volleyball team.
Kerstin Jenkins placed fifth all time for total number of attempts in a season, and Baker tallied 1,000 assists this season, running a 6-2 offense.
"This has been one of the closest teams I’ve ever coached," said Nelson. "We had a unique chemistry that every coach wants. Everyone did their job and when there were moments to be the inspiration, they stepped up and became the heroes."
Nelson said eight of the team's sophomores will graduate this year, leaving seven freshmen returning. She said the team's main focus is to recruit dominate players who are ready to take to the court and make an immediate impact with the team's philosophy – "put forth the effort and heart that this year’s team left as their mark and be the best for the team and the college."
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.