Volleyball junior sets hopeful goals for last half of season

Sports Editor

Junior Jaclyn Billie is a setter on the St. Edward’s University volleyball team who loves the game of volleyball. Originally from Frankfort, Illinois, Billie grew up playing volleyball and winning numerous awards in high school.

However, Billie wasn’t looking at playing at St. Edward’s.

“I am from Chicago and I really wanted to stay close to home,” Bille said. “Even after my coach offered me the position to play, I was hesitant, but I decided to take a leap of faith and have been forever grateful for it.”

Since arriving at St. Edward’s in 2013, Billie had a successful freshman year, as she averaged 4.37 assists per set, second best on the team. Billie would then again finish second in assists in 2014.

The volleyball team has started this year sluggish, with a current 5-12 record. The team has lost 10 of their last 12 matches. Billie hopes the season will turn around soon.

“This team is a fighting team. Despite our number of unexpected injuries or sickness, we always pick back up the next day with a new goal in mind,” Billie said. “No matter our record, it has always been important to the St. Edward’s volleyball program to never stop pushing towards a greater goal.”

This past summer, the volleyball team hired a new head coach. Mary DeJute replaced Sean Donahue after 13 seasons at St. Edward’s.

“I have had at least one new coach every year since I have been here, whether it be an assistant or a head coach. So, this definitely calls for some flexibility and adaptation,” Billie says, referring to her new coach as “a blessing to this program.”

“I honestly think [DeJute] has had more of the challenge than we have as players; stepping into a position where a lot of unexpected things were just kind of thrown at her and still challenging us to be the best team we can be has been a refreshing change in my career here,” Billie says.

Billie tries to stay positive and loves cheesy jokes, except on the volleyball court.

The squad looks to get back on track Thursday when they play at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Their next home game is Saturday at 10 a.m. against Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

“There is still time to turn it around. We are only half way through the season,” Billie said. “If anything, I think it’s important we look at this struggle as a challenge to overcome rather than accept it. It’s not who we are as a team to accept defeat.”