For the 2016 season, the Loras College women’s volleyball team welcomes assistant coach Jenna Sullivan to the roster.
Sullivan, of Woodbury, MN, played volleyball at Woodbury High School and then went on to play for the St. Mary’s University Cardinals. There, she was a four-year varsity player and spent two years as captain while playing outside. She appeared in 78 matches and registered 489 kills and 617 digs. While pursuing a degree in human services, she managed to keep her heart on the court.
“I just loved the game, and I’ve been coaching really ever since I was in high school. My mom coached, so I’d always go and help her,” said Sullivan. “I knew for a while that I wanted to coach after I graduated.”
The January following her graduation, she made a connection with Loras’ head volleyball coach Jenna Ness, who had been an assistant at St. Mary’s during Sullivan’s sophomore year. She started then as a volunteer for the men’s team, and this fall Loras volleyball welcomes her experience and expertise to benefit both the men’s and women’s teams.
“I just have a love for training the skill part of the game and the mental part of the game. I just think that I can have a positive impact on student-athletes.”
Sullivan is the head JV coach for the women as well as spearheading a lot of skill training for the setters, assisting both programs. With a growing staff that includes not only head coach Ness and men’s head coach Jeremy Thornburg, but also Sullivan and student coach Dylan Ross, the Duhawks are looking to build two lasting and legacy-building programs that focus on specific long-term goals.
“We want to improve every single year, not just with our results of wins and loses, but I think we want to improve culture every year, we want to improve our work ethic, we want to improve our commitment to our team and our mental and emotional abilities.”