The influence of former collegiate players giving back through coaching paid off in a big way for Jaelyn Young, a 5’3’’, 2018 libero for Club 43’s U181 National Team. In her freshman year of high school, she played for a former Division I collegiate coach who intensified Jaelyn’s desire to play volleyball beyond high school.
Jaelyn’s serve receive is her biggest asset as a back row player. She has a consistent, repeatable platform and passes with range from each of the three serve receive lanes on the court. On both short and deep serves, her consistent platform angle makes her a tough passer to beat in seams. On her High School team at St. Paul Central in 2016, she received 358 serves with only 46 reception errors on the season, with 21 of those matches with 3 or less reception errors. Jaelyn received the honor of being named to the 2017 JVA Watch List for athletes in her graduating class.
“What I enjoy most about volleyball is the team aspect. I love the feeling of overcoming the odds as a unit when it happens. When everything is connecting, we’re moving together, covering each other, no balls are hitting the floor and then we finish the play, just totally unstoppable as team, it’s a great feeling! As an individual, I like making plays on the ball that no one is expecting. That feeling of getting a perfect pass to your setter is so satisfying.”
As a defensive player, Jaelyn as a high level of eye sequencing to get her in the best position to dig the attacker. She plays strong defense in all three of the back row positions, but her defense is particularly impressive in middle back. Often faced with a seam in the block, Jaelyn has to read the attacker in the seam and be disciplined in her positioning to make the best play on the ball. Her background in gymnastics is evident; she has strong, explosive movements to the ball with her lower body and can push far outside of her stopped position to get touches on the ball.
A final piece to an effective back row player is an aggressive serve. Jaelyn has a consistent jump float serve that showcases her strength and athleticism. She can serve opponents short or deep, and in challenging seams to disrupt their offensive schemes. In her 2016 high school season, she earned 47 aces against her opponents.
Jaelyn plans on continuing her volleyball career into college, with intent to study Biology. She has a passion for volunteering, which she would also like to continue beyond high school, and has aspirations to coach volleyball herself someday. Perhaps she can someday inspire a young athlete as a coach as she was inspired as a beginning athlete.