COTR Avalanche sign outside hitter from Australia

Former Red Deer College Queens player Jessica Jones to return to competitive volleyball in Cranbrook

The College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball program announced on Tuesday that they have signed Australian outside hitter Jessica Jones for the 2018-19 season.

Originally from Adelaine, the capital of South Australia, Jones started her career with Brighton Secondary School while also playing for local club teams, provincial teams and in the Australian Volleyball League.

She travelled internationally throughout Asia with the Australian youth and junior national teams before coming to Canada in 2015 to attend Red Deer College and play for the Queens in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

According to a January 2016 article in the Red Deer Advocate, Jones had the ambition to play collegiate level volleyball from the time she was in Grade 10 and received numerous offers from across North America but chose to come to Canada.

The reigning ACAC champions going into the season, Jones helped Red Deer to a third-place finish in their conference, quickly becoming a starter for the team. In 49 sets during the 2015-16 season, she had 92 kills, 98 digs and 15 aces.

While the team failed to advance past the opening round at the Provincial championship, Jones returned the next season but left after the first 11 matches. Spending the remainder of last year healing a couple of minor injuries and taking time to travel, she has chosen to join COTR in order to further develop as an athlete.

“I look forward to giving my best to the College’s athletic program, to playing in a different league, living in beautiful B.C. and to completing my educational goals,” Jones said in a team release. “I am super excited to play with the passion that keeps me loving the game, to share my knowledge of the game from an international perspective, to make new friendships, and to have a successful and fun season as a member of the Avalanche.”

The excitement is mutual as Avs head coach John Swanson also spoke to his excitement of having Jones become the seventh member of the team’s 2018-19 recruiting class.

“We are very happy to have Jessica joining our women’s volleyball program,” says coach John Swanson. “Jess has played at a very competitive level in her homeland of Australia and then gained valuable experience competing in the very strong ACAC conference at Red Deer College. I believe her experience and maturity will be a great addition to our team”.

While at College of the Rockies, Jones will be enrolled in the Tourism Management program. The team’s other new additions for this upcoming season include Tamara Barth, Claire Shepard, Julie-Anna Schaar, Abigail Taggart, Katie Anderson and Sam Lautrup.

The Avs pre-season begins is set to begin on September 7, when the Avalanche take on Ambrose University. In February, the program will host the 2019 PacWest provincial championships.

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