The Free Press, Mankato, MN

College Sports

September 9, 2010

Nicole Jones is realizing how quickly time flies

Bethany falls to Bethel in three games

MANKATO — Senior Nicole Jones probably doesn’t like being referred to as the “elder statesman” of the Bethany Lutheran College volleyball team but she does have more playing time with the Vikings than any of her 14 teammates.

Jones is one of just three seniors on the 2010 Bethany team which is coming off a 5-16 season and a 5-9 mark in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Mankato East graduate, who also plays basketball at Bethany, says its difficult to grasp how quickly time has flown by.

“It’s kind of crazy,” she said. “It’s hard to fathom that I’m already a senior and this is my last year. But I know that, traditionally, seniors do well and I’m ready to do the same.”

Jones played sparingly as a freshman but is now beginning her third year as the team’s primary setter. She led Bethany with 972 sets in 99 games as a sophomore and with 524 sets in 70 games as a junior. She has also averaged a team high 23 ace serves over the past two seasons.

A sociology major, Jones says her college career, at least to this point, has been even more gratifying than expected.

“When you come in as a freshman you’re optimistic that you can play right away but it’s a difficult transition from high school,” she said. “The game is played at a faster tempo and that takes some getting used to.

“I’ve had three different coaches since I’ve been here and I’ve learned a lot from each of them. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything.”

Bethany’s latest coach is Sue Forrey who formerly coached at Mankato Loyola High School. So far, Jones likes what she’s seen of the first-year mentor.

“She has transitioned very well to the college game,” Jones said. “She’s runs very organized practices and that allows us to get a lot of things done. I definitely think she has pointed in the right direction.”

This year’s team, which lost to Bethel 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 on Wednesday night, returns all but one starter from a year ago — All-UMAC libero Laura Parochka has graduated — which means the Vikings won’t have to rely on a bunch of rookies to fill out their lineup.

In addition to Jones, who was honorable mention All-UMAC last year, Bethany returns its top three hitters from 2009 in sophomore right side-hitter Emily Schrupp (Mayer Lutheran), senior middle hitter Laura Holt (Maple River) and junior outside hitter Vanessa Harkins (Le Center).

Freshman Tayler Kahlow of Le Sueur was the team’s primary libero during the team’s season-opening appearance at the St. Olaf Invitational over the weekend.

Among the other newcomers fighting for playing time this year are right side hitter Erin Evans of Sibley East, middle hitter Rachel Beer of Le Center and outside hitter Heather Cassidy of Prior Lake.

The Vikings roster includes some other familiar names as well in sophomore Marcie Flygare of Minnesota Valley Lutheran, junior Klea Swenson of Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial, junior Melissa Boddy of New Ulm Cathedral, sophomore Meghan Houlihan of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown and sophomore Kerri Jones (Nicole’s younger sister) from Mankato East.

“We’re optimistic,” said Nicole Jones. “We have a nice blend of experienced and younger players. We believe we can improve on what we accomplished last year.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
College Sports
  • MSU bball 3/15 2 Top-seeded Mavericks get knocked off by Huskies

    St. Cloud State advanced to the region championship game with an 83-71 victory Sunday, ending the season for the top-seeded Mavericks.

    March 15, 2010 2 Photos

  • xsmall_Schiller, Joe_PE6X7791.JPG Mavericks healthier but still hurting

    Michael Dorr and Eriah Hayes will be back in the lineup, but with six players still out with injury, center Joe Schiller will move to defense.

    November 3, 2011 1 Photo 1 Story

  • xsmall_Lee, Austin_PE6X7812.JPG College hockey gameday

    Minnesota State at Michigan Tech

    6:07 p.m. today and Saturday, MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, Mich.

    Radio: KTOE 1420 AM TV: None

    November 3, 2011 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Northern Sun to vote on expansion

    Today, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference board of directors will vote on whether to expand from 14 to 16 programs.

    January 19, 2011

  • Gusties ranked 8th in DIII

    The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team is ranked eighth in the country, according to the first U.S. College Hockey Online poll released earlier this week.

    October 28, 2010

  • MSU w hock-9.jpg Sister support: Ariel the latest Mackley to shine for MSU

    Anyone familiar with women’s college hockey in southern Minnesota must know the Mackleys. Since the fall of 2004, at least one of the three Mackley sisters has been skating for Minnesota State or Gustavus Adolphus.

    October 7, 2010 1 Photo

  • msu hockey 10-4-1.jpg Zuck's goal lifts MSU past British Columbia

    MSU's Eli Zuck’s short-handed breakaway goal 100 seconds into the third period stood as the lone goal in the Mavericks’ 1-0 victory over British Columbia before an announced crowd of 2,236 at the Verizon Wireless Center.

    October 5, 2010 1 Photo

  • Young Mavericks look to prove rankings wrong

    The Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s preseason polls were released on Wednesday, and Minnesota State isn’t getting a lot of love from the league’s coaches nor from the media who cover the conference. Both polls put the Mavericks in 10th place in what is now a 12-team conference.

    October 2, 2010

  • gustfb 092510.jpg Clark, St. Olaf run past Gustavus

    St. Olaf halfback Leon Clark cut loose for 134 second-half yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds left to lift his team to a 19-14 victory over Gustavus Saturday.

    September 26, 2010 1 Photo

  • MSUfb 092510.jpg Mavericks get shocked at home

    Concordia upset No. 11 MSU 28-26 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game before 4,264 fans. It was the second time in the series history that MSU lost to Concordia.

    September 26, 2010 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Free Press news updates
Special Promotions
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts