Jenna Coates on pace for another record book season
Last season, junior libero Jenna Coates put her name in the Central Michigan record books.
She finished the year No. 7 in school history in digs per set in a single-season (4.25) and No. 3 in total digs in a single-season (544). This season she is averaging 5.14 digs per set, ranking her No. 2 in program history with 185 digs.
At this pace, she will finish around 550 total digs this season, which will put her in the top-three in single-season program history.
“I can’t say enough about my teammates,” Coates said. “It’s a great feeling (to be in the record books); I don’t think about the records that much right now (though).”
Coates is currently No. 3 in program history with 3.67 digs per set and No. 4 in total digs with 977.
“(Alexis) Lonneman was good, but Coates is better,” head coach Erik Olson said. “Lonneman did a good job covering 10 feet, but Coates can cover 17.”
This season, Coates started the year on a high-note, digging up a career-high 34 balls in a loss against Auburn. That achievement was good for No. 3 all-time in a single match.
But to Coates, her favorite memories as a three-year starter aren’t of double-digit dig matches; it’s of her first championship in her volleyball career.
Against Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference Championship match, Coates brought up 22 digs, while her team won a program-first MAC Championship in an epic five-set win.
“I’d say my best memory was the MAC Championship,” Coates said. “We had so much focus and played as one heartbeat; we go back to that match all the time.”
But as an individual, Olson believes Coates has what it takes to be one of the best in the nation.
“She is capable of six digs per set,” Olson said. “She is digging the best in her career; she hasn’t had a lot of balls hit at her, but is digging well.”
Coates and the volleyball team will travel home to McGuirk Arena to take on IPFW at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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