Jennifer Joy ’16 has been a central part of the Grinnell volleyball team for the past four years. Last Saturday the Pioneers fell to Illinois College in what would be the last game for Joy and the rest of the senior team members. Now that her collegiate career is over, the S&B’s Sam Curry ’16 sat down with Joy to discuss the role volleyball has and will continue to have in her life, past, present and future.
The S&B: How was your final match of the season?
JJ: Our final match was really intense for a lot of reasons. Two of our important defensive specialists had head injuries, one of them has a minor concussion and one of them hit her head really hard the night before. That happened Friday night and we played this game Saturday night so I was actually playing libero Saturday, but then during our second set I twisted my knee wrong, so I was out for a set. Basically, we had a lot of shifting positions going on during the middle of our last game … but we went to five sets. We won the first set, lost the second one … then we lost the fifth set. That was disappointing because going to the fifth set means you definitely can win because that means you’ve won two sets so all you need to do is close it, so it was a hard blow.
Did it feel like a fitting conclusion to the season?
On paper we had a super unsuccessful season, I think that’s pretty obvious, but being on the team, I’ve seen so much growth, and we’ve had a lot to deal with. A lot of people got hurt over the season and people had to shift positions like almost every week. So we adapted really well and I think we grew a lot … The first-years came in strong … We have a lot of youth on our team, which is great for setting up for our following seasons.
Do you feel good about the future of Grinnell volleyball?
We’re losing both of our assistant coaching staff after the season, so I’m assuming that our head coach will stay on, and we’ll have to find new assistant coaches. On the capabilities of the team, the physical capabilities, we’re set, we’re great, that shit is great.
Did you feel sad that the season and your career at Grinnell was ending?
It’s bittersweet, right? Your career is ending, but at the same time, by the end of your senior year, you’re burnt out. You want three hours of your day back for every day. So, it’s bittersweet.
What do you do in the offseason with all the extra time?
Just nap all day. I do take a lot more naps. I try to go to all the other things I can’t do, so maybe salsa or other clubs I would like to participate in but previously didn’t have time.
Do you have plans to continue playing volleyball in the future?
Immediately, I’m going to play on campus with the intermural club, but a few years away I plan on being abroad, specifically in Asia, so probably a lot less volleyball in my future than I would like.