Spotlight: Freshman Jessie Jorgensen Ready to Play

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After playing sparingly during her freshman season due to injury, Jessie Jorgensen was excited to finally step on to the court again and wear her Utah uniform.

Although last season she was limited to nine matches, she did not let it bring her down. Instead, it only motivated her to go out and work harder than before, and it paid off the first weekend of the 2015 season.

In action at the Utah Classic, facing off against Idaho State, Jorgensen immediately made a statement in the first game of the season by recording 23 assists, a new career-high.

“I felt really good,” Jorgensen said. “It was good to get out and work and play with the team. I got a little bit of playing experience last year, so this year, being out there, it was a lot of fun.”

Jorgensen did not slow down after that match, posting a double-double, 15 digs and 14 assists in a win against California State. It was the first of her career and it gave a glimpse into what she can provide for the Utes moving forward in the season.

“Really, it was just focusing in and going out and playing hard,” Jorgensen said. “I love volleyball, so when I’m out on the court, I want to be completely in.”

Although she had a lot of individual success over the weekend, it is the team’s chemistry and potential that excites Jorgensen the most for 2015. She was proud of the way they played during the Utah Classic and is looking forward to the rest of the season.

Freshman setter Jessie Jorgensen (15) sets the ball in the 2015 Utah Classic against the Idaho State Bengals in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, Friday, August 28, 2015. Photo credit: Chris Samuels

Freshman setter Jessie Jorgensen (15) sets the ball in the 2015 Utah Classic against the Idaho State Bengals in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, Friday, August 28, 2015. Photo credit: Chris Samuels

“I [think] that we put a lot of hard work in [fall camp], and we were able to put everything together,” Jorgensen said. “We continue to work hard in the gym every day at practice, and when matches come, we just continue to improve. I think by the end of the season we will be doing some great things.”

Jorgensen understands that in order for the team to extend their season and win the Pac-12, they will need to play at their highest level.

“It’s probably the best conference that you can play in for volleyball,” Jorgensen said. “All of these teams in the Pac-12 recruit a lot of good players and so you’re up against the best competition.”

The team’s play early on shows they can compete in the conference this year. A big part of their success has been Jorgensen’s contributions after her shortened 2014 campaign.

Head coach Beth Launiere has noticed Jorgensen and her work ethic and how it’s paying off on both sides of court. She is expecting a lot to come from the redshirt-freshman within the next four years.

“She’s got a great future,” Launiere said. “She’s also playing very good defense, and she served tough too, and her overall game is really coming along.”

It isn’t just her play at the Utah Classic that shows how quickly Jorgensen is becoming one of the top players on the team, it’s also how her consistency allows her to improve at practice and during games. She has already recorded two double-doubles in the season, claiming another during the Utes win against Utah State on Tuesday.

Jorgensen’s ability to regularly stand out among a roster that includes the likes of Adora Anae and Kendall Cygan shows she is ready for a prominent role early in her career. She is a player who will contribute to this Utah squad and will keep them in contention for years to come.

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