Providence senior Jacquie Hornung has battled through knee surgery to lead the Pioneers in their chase for another IHSAA state volleyball title. Hornung, who has verbally committed to IUPUI, and the Pioneers are ranked No.2 in Class 3-A after winning two straight Class 2-A state titles.
The Courier-Journal: After winning back-to-back championships, do you feel pressure to keep that run going?
Jacquie Hornung: There’s definitely pressure that comes every year, but especially because I’m a senior and it’s my last year. There’s pressure being a leader, and we’re moving up a class so that adds on with the new competition.
C-J: How difficult was it to lose so many quality players after last season and still be able to maintain your level of play?
Hornung: In my position, it was really tough because I had played with those seniors for about five years, including club ball. But this year we’ve done a really good job. The girls have stepped up big time, and we’re just as good as we were last year, if not better. So I’m proud of everyone to fill in those roles.
C-J: One of those players who has stepped up is your younger sister Marissa. Is there any sibling rivalry?
Hornung: We get along really well. People say some things, but it doesn’t really get to me. She’s a really good player, and she definitely makes me a better player. She says I make her better, so we don’t have much competition, we help each other out.
C-J: You suffered a knee injury in January (playing musical chairs at school) and missed the softball season and club ball volleyball season. Was that hard to take?
Hornung: I was a little scared, because it was my first surgery. But I also went in with the attitude that, with the worst possible outcome, I would be out for a certain time, and it might be painful. But I didn’t have much pain at all.
During my rehab, it was nice working with Jason Mullis (an assistant coach with the Providence football team). He pushed me really hard and got me back quicker than I was supposed to, which was awesome. I got back right at four months. I actually got to go with the team this summer to camp at Purdue and play, and that wasn’t in the picture after the surgery.
C-J: Did you ever get frustrated during the process?
Hornung: I tried to be really patient and understanding. I didn’t want to push it too far to injure it again, but my knee cooperated. I built up the strength quickly. Having the surgery taught me a huge lesson that you have to work really hard to get back where you want to be. If you do, good things will come from it. So everything went better than expected.
C-J: What do you love about volleyball?
Hornung: It makes me feel like a competitor. I love competition. It allows me to use my athletic abilities, because I love sports. I love the team chemistry and the atmosphere. In my experience, we’ve had so much success and that’s awesome.
C-J: Why did you choose to attend IUPUI?
Hornung: I really enjoyed the coach. I love talking to him, and every time I’ve gone up there he’s been so kind and really pulled me in. The girls with the program are really outgoing and friendly, and they had nothing but good things to say about the program. And they are super successful. I’m really excited about my future there.
C-J: What has pointed you toward a career in speech therapy?
Hornung: I hopefully will be able to work with kids. That’s one of the major things I was looking for. I love helping kids, and many people have told me I would be good at something like that. So I’m looking forward to it.
C-J: Who are your role models?
Hornung: Both of my parents. One doesn’t stand out more than the other. They’re both very supportive of me. They’re always there to talk to me, and they push me to the best I can be, in school and sports. I love having them around, and I really look up to them for everything they do.
JACQUIE HORNUNG UP CLOSE
Family: parents Scott and Kelly; sisters Marissa (16) and Ali (13)
Student/athlete: Jacquie was a three-member of the Providence softball team. She is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as a Student Ambassador. She plans to play volleyball at IUPUI and major in speech therapy.
Coach Terri Purichia: She is such an important part of this team. She’s one of the strongest kids we have, she is so powerful offensively. She’s so nurturing. She’s the glue that keeps this bunch together. We call her Mother Jacquie.