Jessi Burge decided to give volleyball a shot as a seventh grader.
That decision has sparked a strong passion for the Eaton Rapids senior libero.
“I spent a lot of time with soccer until I came to volleyball,” Burge said. “I just naturally had talent for it and I just automatically knew that volleyball was my road to choose. I gave up soccer in eighth grade and just focused on volleyball and played club and high school season.”
That decision by Burge, who was voted the LSJ prep athlete of the week, has been beneficial to the Eaton Rapids volleyball program. She is one of two players that have played in each set this season for the Greyhounds and her defensive abilities have been invaluable according to coach Amanda Marriott.
Burge recently played a key role in a five-set victory over rival Charlotte and finished the match with 31 digs, five aces and three assists. She has 432 digs this fall and is averaging 19 per match and 5.9 per set. She also has 44 aces, 17 kills and 15 assists.
“Jessi is by far one of the best players I have ever had the privilege to coach,” Marriott said. “She loves volleyball and has had this idea in her mind of the athlete and player she wants to be and has pushed herself to achieve that. She is a captain and shows her leadership every day on and off the court.
“I have never had a player that can also be a coach on the court. She is able to talk to the girls about what to change and fix when I don’t necessarily have enough time to tell them or I am out of time outs.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.