McDERMOTT — The current pipeline from McDermott to Shawnee State University has gained another valuable asset.
At a recent signing ceremony, inside the Northwest High School gymnasium, Lady Mohawks senior Ava Jenkins joined teammate Reagan Lewis in signing to join the Bears’ volleyball program beginning next fall.
Former competitors in the SOC such as Northwest’s Haidyn Wamsley and Wheelersburg’s Abbie Kallner, Kylee Barney and Emily Boggs are current members of the Bears’ unit — under second-year coach Devan Scarberry, herself a Northwest graduate.
The new territory with players and coaches Jenkins has competed with or against during her high school career will make the experience anything but unfamiliar.
“After doing some summer scrimmages at Shawnee, I realized I wanted to play college volleyball. And I realized I didn’t want to just play. I wanted to play for Shawnee,” Jenkins said. “I loved it there, love the program and know a lot of the girls on the team.”
Scarberry said that bringing on someone with Jenkins’ capabilities, both offensively and defensively, will make for a key addition with senior setter Maria Kolinoff set to graduate this spring.
“With some of our seniors set to graduate, it will be nice to have Ava, and it will be nice to have someone who can come in and read the ball well defensively, and also swing and be an offensive factor,” she said.
Jenkins began playing volleyball competitively during her seventh-grade year, and just before her freshman year, she joined a club volleyball team to gain additional playing experience.
In addition to her time on the court in the fall, Jenkins is a four-year girls basketball player and four-year track and field athlete for the Lady Mohawks’ programs.
Jenkins recently recorded her 1,000th dig during her high school career, a mark she says she has worked towards — and embraced in her defensive role.
A dig, as Jenkins explained, is a stat recorded when any defensive player prevents an opposing offensive player from earning a point — when they attempt a kill by passing the ball before it hits the ground.
“When I told my family that I had gotten 1,000 digs, they were all really excited for me because it’s something that was really important to me,” Jenkins said. “It’s something that I had worked toward and to be able to achieve it was a great feeling. Defensively, there’s nothing more exciting than when someone gets a really good dig and the team we’re facing doesn’t get a point off their hit.”
Although she is undecided on what she plans to major in upon enrolling at SSU, Jenkins said she’s looking forward to the opportunity of a new challenge — and reuniting with her teammates in the collegiate ranks.
“I’m so excited to play with them at the next level. I go to church with Haidyn and I’ve grown up with Reagan, she’s my best friend. It’s really exciting to get this opportunity.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved