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Senior Jessica Yanz
Senior Jessica Yanz
Published by UDBrian
Senior Jessica Yanz

DAYTON (OH) -- "Jess has been a leader since day 1" said one of her team mates.

What comes to mind when I think of Jessica Yanz? I remember the first time I saw her play in an exhibition match and I said "I love watching her set". If a young setter is looking for a role model Jessica would be a good choice not only because she is excellent but because she draws so much enjoyment from her team mates crushing great sets. I met her parents early in the season and they were excited about Jess having a great opportunity but unhappy about everything that happened to make it possible. Jess came here under tough circumstances but fit in wonderfully during a very tough period for the entire team.

When asked for a memorable moment at UD Jess told me that she forgot her ID when they were flying to St Louis. By the time Jess and Brittany arrived back at the plane they were closing the doors. A couple of minutes later and the two of them would have been driving to St Louis, LOL.

Here is what coach Sheffield said about Jess:

Playful, caring, inclusive. "A very unique person. I'm not sure we all understand how lucky we are to have her here. She came in at a difficult time, with a very veteran group, and has not only helped take this team to another level, but has fit in and helped lead in ways that most people would never, ever come close to doing in the same situation."

Here are characteristics which come to mind from her team mates.

Came in as a leader
Loves dogs
Is always taking pictures
Expected a lot from the team starting with day one
Fantastic Cook (highly valued, must be a rare trait for college students)
Always willing to help someone who is in a pinch
Very generous
Very accepting of everyone

I told Jess that it would require a little more work for her me to research her entire volleyball career to which she said: "This is the only year that matters".

When I asked Jess about what stood out in her time at UD she said:

"I am just very thankful to have been a part of this team. I have had so many people come up to me and say that they have never attended a volleyball match before but they would be coming back for more. That means so much to those of us who love volleyball".

Jessica's parents have attended matches at Penn State and Nebraska during Jessica's career but they raved about UD's student section when asked about the crowd. I hope they are in attendance if/when UD hosts the first round of the NCAAs because it will probably exceed anything they have seen at UD to this point.

I asked Jessica's parents a couple of questions which are answered below:

Can you tell me in one or two paragraphs what going to UD has meant to Jessica and how she has grown in that time?

Attending UD has provided Jessica with a wonderful way to finish her education as well as her collegiate volleyball experience. It has allowed her to mature and solidify her career path. She has grown in both confidence and leadership; become a young woman polished and ready for the next part of her life's journey.

What would you tell a parent who's daughter is considering playing for UD?

UD provides an environment that is very competitive but yet close knit. The girls work hard and play to win, they have a great relationship both on and off the court. The coaches expect a lot from their players and have worked very hard to elevate this program to one of the top 20 teams in the nation. Coach Sheffield has accomplished a great deal in his short tenure at UD. But in addition to the the hard work and high expectations from the coaching staff, there is also a genuine caring for the girls on the team that all of the coaches exhibit. It is a wonderful combination and one that can be hard to find.

It was hard to imagine UD getting a player/person of Jess's caliber after everything that transpired. I'll miss her PEEK A BOO shot but more than that I will miss the joy she showed every time someone crushed one of her sets.

Jessica was voted A10 setter of the year!
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