Jessica Adams, a multi-sport star at Mount Vernon High School, has signed a letter of intent to further her education and play volleyball at Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
Adams, a 5-foot-8 setter from Mount Vernon, Ohio, recorded 72 assists, 51 digs, 29 kills, 27 blocks, and 25 aces during her senior season playing for the Yellow Jackets. For her efforts, she received Ohio Capital Conference Honorable Mention recognition, and she was also selected for her team's Most Improved Player award.
"We are very happy that Jessica is coming to MVNC," said MVNC head coach Paul Swanson. "She is a very fine athlete who has done well in a lot of sports. We are glad that she will be focusing on volleyball. With her athleticism and love for the game, she has plenty of potential. We are looking forward to helping her reach that potential."
In addition to playing volleyball, Adams also excelled in track and field as she won numerous All-OCC awards in various events over the past three years that included a first-place finish as part of the 4x200 meter relay team in 1999. She also was named to the USSA All-State Team as a second baseman in softball.
"There are several reasons why I chose to attend MVNC," said Adams. "I heard that Coach Swanson is one of the best coaches in the state, and I love volleyball and can't get enough of it. The school is also close by, and I will get a good education there."
Over the past 16 years, Swanson has led the Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's volleyball team to a 539-195 overall record (.734 winning percentage).
In the decade of the 1990s, the Lady Cougars gained the reputation as one of the premier NAIA volleyball programs in the Midwest. MVNC posted a 396-107 (.787) during that span with four conference championships and four runner-up finishes. The Lady Cougars also compiled an incredible 122-9 home mark (.931) that included a 70-match home winning streak from 1991-1997.
The 1999 season was no exception to MVNC's winning tradition as the Lady Cougars closed out the decade with a 44-5 overall record for the best winning percentage in school history (.898). The team also won the American Mideast Conference title with a perfect 13-0 record. In postseason play, MVNC won the AMC Tournament, advanced to the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament, and advanced to the finals of the NAIA Region IX Tournament.
Swanson must replace four seniors (Rachel Widener, Becky Jefferys, Amber Rice, and Jessica Huffaker) who posted a 176-38 record during their careers in the blue and green uniforms of the Lady Cougars. However, MVNC will also return eight other players with plenty of experience including three starters. In addition to Adams, Swanson has landed four other stellar recruits, Jeni Vanderhoof, Jessica Harding, Carrie McClelland, and Chelsea Knight, to help fill the empty roster spots.
With these five standout recruits joining the quality group of returning players, the future of the Lady Cougar volleyball program looks good as it heads into the new millennium.