Girls volleyball

Jones leads Noll into semistate

2013-11-01T19:00:00Z 2013-11-02T00:00:25Z Jones leads Noll into semistateDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 01, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

Early in the volleyball season, Bishop Noll's Carissa Jones was walking back onto the court after a water break.

The senior hitter overheard a freshman complaining about all the running coach Dave Rodriguez made the Warriors do. It didn't sit well with Jones.

"That's just not something you should be saying as a freshman," Jones said.

So the seniors, led by Jones, gathered the underclassmen for a team meeting.

"I told them that this was just the beginning and it's getting you better," she said. "This is where it starts and you have to work for it."

That work has paid off for Jones and Bishop Noll. The Warriors will take on Madison Grant in the first round of the Class 2A Bremen Semistate today. BNI has already made it further than any volleyball squad in school history.

"This is (Jones') senior year. This is what she's always wanted," Rodriguez said. "Nobody's more happy about it than her."

Jones is certainly one of the leaders for Noll. She's twice been elected team captain. Rodriguez says Jones takes the program upon herself, passing on the traditions and expectations of what it means to be a Warrior.

"It's really special to be a two-year captain," Jones said. "I try to push (the underclassmen). We try to talk to them before games and motivate them."

Jones is part of a talented group of hitters for Bishop Noll. She admits that their goal is to be intimidating, knocking down kills as hard as they can.

"We do not like to get dug," Jones said. "We want kills every time."

Jones has 234 of those kills. She's also scored 112 aces, a total good enough for second in the state among those reporting.

She'll need to be at the top of her game to take Noll where it wants to go.

"These girls have a second level when the competition steps up," Rodriguez said. "I believe they're going to step up this weekend."

Jones said she has vivid memories of picking up the newspaper after each postseason loss during her first three years with the Warriors and reading "Noll loses." She wants to see "Noll wins" in the headlines after her final high school contest.

"To lose (today) just wouldn't be satisfying," Jones said. "We've gotten this far. I want to go all the way."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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