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Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

A long time coming

Jones Girls Volleyball secures city title for first time since 2017
A long time coming

On Thursday, October 19, Jones girls volleyball stunned rivals Whitney Young in two sets, 25-10, 25-14, to obtain their second-ever city title and first since 2017. 

The team proved its dominance in recent years through its consistent ability to reach the championship, however, many times they have fallen just short of Whitney in the final. The years of buildup made the win all the more gratifying for players. 

“It felt so good to win, especially after losing against Whitney in the championship in both my freshman and sophomore years. Jones hasn’t won the city championship against Whitney since 2017, so it was a really big deal,” said outside hitter Abby Keller ‘25. 

Coach Howard Hu credits the win to no singular player.

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“It was a group effort. Everyone played a role in winning it all,” said Hu. 

Changes in the structure and schedule of the team also contributed to the team’s success this season. 

“Hu made the team only 9 people when a team normally has around 16. We got more reps and he put a lot of focus on the starters. We also played the maximum amount of games possible to get lots of practice,” said right-side Megan Rivera ‘25. 

A smaller team fostered a better environment on and off the court. 

“With this small of a team, it was essential to get to know everyone and create some kind of relationship. I think this played a huge part in our successes because we were a very tight-knit team and this connection elevated our chemistry,” said Keller.

The friendship curated among players softened some of the sacrifices they had to make for the team. 

“Another addition we added this season was practicing for about 45 minutes to an hour before every home game this season,” said Keller.“This could be sort of frustrating at times because it took away the small bit of free time we would have before we played. Looking back, getting in those extra reps, no matter the opponent helped tremendously.” 

Between their rigorous preparation and positive team chemistry, the win did not come as a total surprise. 

“We definitely were confident. We had beaten [Whitney] twice already this season, so we were feeling hopeful,” said Rivera. 

Despite their success against Whitney this season, the team’s long history with the Dolphins left players with a chip on their shoulder. 

“I feel like a lot of the returning players and a number of our supporters just wanted revenge. This built-up energy and animosity really played a part in the win this year. Going into the game, I felt a difference from prior years. There was so much more confidence shown from everyone on our team,” said Keller. 

The team’s confidence appeared evident through their dominant performance. 

“We led the whole time. We got good momentum in the beginning and just kept going. We stayed positive throughout it which contributed to our win,” said Rivera.

A clarified approach to the match helped players secure the win.

“[Our strategy was to] pick on [their] underclassmen and weakest passers,” said Hu. 

Players also adapted their methods with a positive mindset throughout the game to optimize their success. 

“Not dwelling on small mistakes really gave us the advantage throughout the game. We didn’t allow them to go on any long runs and we made sure to play aggressively throughout the entirety of the match,” said Keller.

The team’s performance was backed up by a supportive Jones crowd.

“People were loud and jumping up and down so much that we broke the bleachers. It was a lot of back and forth between our crowd and the Whitney crowd,” said Rivera.

The crowd’s enthusiasm felt authentic to players given that the game was set at Little Village High School, a fifty-minute train ride from Jones. 

“The crowd was amazing. The fact that so many Jones students came all the way to Little Village to support the team meant so much to us. The encouragement from the fans is beyond compare and there’s no doubt that we have the better student section,” said Keller. 

The team found satisfaction in silencing their opponent’s crowd.

“It was nice to quiet their student section after they booed all our starters and coaches during introductions,” said Hu. 

Rivalry and revenge aside, winning the city championship was a special and heartfelt moment for the team. 

“Everyone on the team was so thrilled that we won,” said Keller. “The dedication that was shown and the effort put in by every one of my teammates was rewarded by us winning the city championship.”

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Sadie Barash '25, Journalism II

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