Giustino Bovenzi – Editor
After high school, Jessica Thobe wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue playing volleyball at an organized team level anymore.
But a year away from the game and now a full season in the books for the Sinclair Community College women’s volleyball team, Thobe has been named as a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American, District XXII All-Region, Ohio Community College Athletic Association Conference Player of the Year and first team All-Conference.
“It’s definitely an honor that people see me as a good player,” Thobe said. “I worked hard so it’s nice [to receive the recognition]. ”
She didn’t expect to come back and have this successful of a season right away.
“I’ve been taught well and coached well, so that definitely helps,” she said.
Thobe finished the year #1 in kills per set (4.72) in the NJCAA Division II, totaling 598 for the entire year.
“[Stats] are good, but its whatever,” she said. “I’m just out there to play.”
She said her family was also very excited to hear the news and that they were proud of her accomplishments on the court.
Thobe, a graduate from Lehman High School and Sign Language major at Sinclair, said she was excited to hear the news of winning the awards, but is even more excited to see how her team can grow heading into next season.
“I know that we’re going to progress more next year,” Thobe said. “I’m really looking forward to next year.”
The team will return five players next season, including the All-American selection. She said she was excited to see who her coach can bring in to help build the program.
In addition to all of the regular season awards, she was voted and ranked second out of seven players for the All-Tournament team in the NJCAA District F Tournament.
Her team finished the year with an overall record of 32-7, placing third in the OCAAC and third in the NJCAA District F Tournament — narrowly missing out on a chance to play in the NJCAA National Tournament.
“I think we hoped to make it a little bit farther than we did — but injuries happen,” Thobe said. “I think we we’re pretty pleased about where we ended up.”
Sinclair head coach K.C. Gan said he was proud of her play all year long and hopes to continue to see her progress as the staple of Sinclair’s offense.
“I am very proud to coach such an outstanding player,” Gan said in his end of season press release.
In addition, Thobe said she will be returning to play for the Tartan Pride next season.
“I’m really, really wanting to stay, just because I had a really enjoyable year,” Thobe said.
Now that her volleyball season is over, Thobe will be training over the winter and preparing to play softball for Sinclair as well.