Jillian Nash is a senior captain on the Kent Place varsity volleyball team that has only suffered two losses so far on the 2011 campaign. Nash has been a member of the varsity squad for four seasons and has been a starter for the past three seasons.
This season Nash occupies the opposite position for the Dragons, an important role that requires a versatile effort in each game.
The three-sport athlete (Nash also competes in basketball and softball) is well respected amongst her teammates and coaches as shown by receiving the sportsmanship award for the past two seasons.
Nash leads a veteran Dragons squad that returned nine players from the previous season, four of them seniors. Head coach Alena Lamianskaya has coached many of the team’s players all the way back to their days on Kent Place’s middle school team. The tight-knit group can make Lamianskaya’s job easy.
“They are an amazing group of girls and it is easy to work with them because they are willing to learn and are always working hard at getting better,” said Lamianskaya. “The veteran players are great with helping the younger ones. It is a great atmosphere during practice.”
Nash’s unwavering work ethic sets the tone for the entire team.
“Jill is a hard worker that is always the first in the gym,” said Lamianskaya. “She is always willing to help others on the team.”
Nash describes her role within the team as a role model for the younger students. She recalls her days as a freshman and sophomore when the upperclassmen leadership served as a crutch for her.
“I am able to share my experience and set an example for the younger teammates,” said Nash. “Our team is a family and this comes from the relationships that we have built throughout the season.”
As of November 1, Nash had recorded 38 digs, 12 aces, 23 assists and 56 serving points thanks to being one of the team’s most consistent servers.
Despite a roster full of talented players Nash knows that the driving force behind the Dragons’ 2011 success lies in the unity of the group. With the Dragons set to host Mount St. Dominic on Thursday in the state prep finals, the team will have to come together once more as they have done all season.
“This is the strongest team that Kent Place has ever had,” said Nash. “We have built such strong bonds throughout the team that have enabled our results to exceed pure talent. We care so much about each other and continue to work hard and push each other to maintain our incredible record.”