Sept. 7, 2000
By Jane E. Pater
Jo Jameyson looks forward to the 2000 campaign with great anticipation. The 6-1 senior from Alvin, Texas, Notre Dame’s force in the middle as both a hitter and blocker, can see incredible opportunities and potential for this year’s Irish squad.
Seven games against opponents ranked in the top 25 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason ranking, will challenge Jameyson and her team throughout the season. Despite the tough competition, she believes her team is prepared to take on those challenges.
“This preseason has been awesome,” Jameyson says.
“I feel we’re farther along this year than we were my three previous seasons. The freshmen have just jumped right in and picked up everything really quickly and the coaches have been great.”
During the off-season, Jameyson, one of the most spirited members on the Irish squad, underwent surgery to repair a chronic knee injury that forced her to miss last season’s NCAA tournament competition. Throughout the winter and spring, she worked extremely hard to prepare herself for this season. Knowing it is her final year of competition, it is obvious how much the team and season mean to her. Her enthusiasm for the game and her teammates is evident in everything she does.
An unselfish player, Jameyson heads for the training room each day before practice to receive continuing treatment on her knees. The team and its success is her first priority, so she is committed to make sure she doesn’t miss a practice.
“Last year, I would miss some practices so that I could play because the pain in my knees was so bad,” Jameyson says. “This year my goal is to be out there every day on the floor practicing with my teammates.”
The second-leading hitter in the BIG EAST Conference during the 1999 campaign with a .468 hitting percentage, Jameyson enters this season with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. She has experienced the thrill of winning two league championships in her first two seasons and the disappointment of having another slip away when the Irish lost in the championship finals of the BIG EAST volleyball tournament to Georgetown.
A new season has provided a slate clean for the Irish. New challenges await as Jameyson and Notre Dame prepare for a demanding schedule. The season began with the Shamrock Invitational this past weekend as the Irish played host to Fairfield, #15 Brigham Young and Clemson. A 3-0 start during the three-day tournament, which included a thrilling five-game victory over the ranked Cougars, has given the Irish plenty of confidence.
Six of the seven games against ranked opponents Notre Dame faces will be played at the Joyce Center. Jameyson hopes that the high-level of competition will attract bigger crowds and more support from the community.
The fans who attended the tournament this weekend were certainly treated to some exciting volleyball matches and saw the return of Jameyson who contributed one solo block, 10 block assists and 12 kills over the course of the tournament. It was the comeback she had been planning for nine months, and it was a solid foundation on which to build the rest of her senior season.
Her performance, along with the play of her teammates to start the season, has certainly signaled a new beginning for the Irish volleyball team. A strong belief in herself and a positive attitude will combine to help Jameyson and her teammates reach the goals they have set for themselves.