Time Out with Jenessa Hicks

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Meet UOlivet head women’s volleyball coach and alumnus, Jenessa Hicks
What is your background in volleyball?

I played for Union City High School in Union City, Michigan. My team and I had the two most successful seasons the school has ever had. We made it to the state finals and the final four two years in a row. I also played travel ball for a small program, HiQ, where I got to know and play with strong athletes from the surrounding areas. I went on to play at Olivet College, now The University of Olivet. During my senior season, we locked in one of the most successful conference plays in school history. I’m grateful for all the coaches I had in my life because while they were all very different, each taught me something that I use today in my coaching style.

How long have you been coaching at UOlivet and what do you like most about coaching here?

This is my second season coaching for The University of Olivet. My favorite thing about coaching is the girls on the team. I love each and every one of them individually and I love to see them succeed in the classroom and on the court.

Where does your passion for volleyball stem from?

My passion for sports came before my passion for volleyball. Basketball was actually my first love. Growing up, I would spend hours playing basketball with my dad in my driveway, and I went on to play basketball when I got older. My passion for volleyball started through my sister. I knew I loved sports, and my sister had always loved volleyball. She would practice with me in our yard and in our house all the time. Her exact words were, “I’m going to make you a setter, because that’s the best position, in my opinion, and I’ll never have the chance to play that position.” She worked with me a lot, and I became a setter on every team I played for. I think basketball helped me become a stronger competitor and better volleyball player, as odd as that sounds.

What’s one thing you tell your student-athletes when you see they need to be inspired or reassured that they’ve got what it takes to succeed, whether in their sport or in the classroom?

I always tell them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Even the best volleyball players make mistakes during gameplay. The important thing is how you pick yourself up from those mistakes and fix the mistakes that will make you a better player. This is the same thing in life and the classroom. Everyone will fail and make mistakes; how you fix and change them makes the difference.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?

I played the French Horn for 8 years.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at admissions@UOlivet.edu or 269-749-7635.



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