I have been playing volleyball since I was in 5th grade at the YMCA. I remember my YMCA team managed to take second place with only 4 players on the court because most of our team was in a play in the final championship match. We only lost first place by 2 points against a team with 13 rostered. In the final game I aced 6 balls in a row. That was the beginning of my love affair with Volleyball and also made me realize how important serving is to winning a game.
When Covid hit near the end of my 7th grade year most places completely shut down in our state. I was not willing to stop improving my skills. I wanted to be the best. So in order to continue to practice, I brought my own net to sand courts around town and eventually I found Coach Ron Becker and his private training facility. Ron Coaches the 18's for FCVBC (club). He allowed me an upcoming 8th grader to practice with his Juniors and Seniors and the College players that would come and visit. At first it was very hard and my friend that came with me eventually quit because she could not take the pressure. I pushed through though and by the time my 8th grade season came I remember Ron telling me that the hardest thing I would do for my Middle school season would be to NOT play down but to bring my team up. So I did!! In 8th grade my middle school team was the All district champions and I was named MVP along with one other player.
Then when my normal club did not operate the following year I went with a small hand picked team under Coach Lindy Edwards to the Utah Golden Spike Grand Prix USAA and played in the 14's open division running a 6:2 playing both Setter and OPP. Our team only had 4 practices together because of covid restrictions in NM, but being able to play at the open division really opened my eyes and made me appreciate the effort it takes to win. I continued practicing with Coach Ron 2x a week all summer long. As a freshman I went directly to the JV team and played a 6:2 with a Junior Setter, where I continued to improve my skills as both setter and as an opposite. The following spring I continued to practice with Ron during open gyms and also carved out some individual practice times as well as summer camps with the high school.
My sophomore year I was advanced to Varsity and played a 5:1. The 2 older remaining setters were cut, because the dedication to my sport showed up on the court. Our district is one of the toughest in the state at the 5A level, with 4 of the 6 districts taking top 5 at the state championships. Unfortunately, our team averaged about 1.6 on serve receive so I learned how to be quick and get poorly positioned balls up and hittable. I was top 3 in my division and #1 in my district on Ace's before the state championships even with less sets played than most schools. My high school coach told me that even the state champions coach fought for me and won, so I was awarded All-District Honorable mention Setter of the year as a sophomore even though our team did not participate in State Championships.
This club season I was placed on Cassie's 17's at FCVBC. I was told the 18's Coach Ron and Cassie Fought over which team I would be on but Cassie won. I didn't even turn 16 until half way into the season. Coach Cassie is a great technical coach and taught me a lot of techniques I didn't know. She helped me get consistent tempo to my set's, worked on my vertical and blocking abilities as well as my serve receive. Our team placed 3rd in Gold at The Lone Star Classic in Dallas this year.
As you can see Volleyball has been my passion for many years and I don't see that changing. When I was a kid my parents told me that they weren't going to push me to do volleyball but that if it was my passion and what I wanted they would support me all the way. I made a decision at that time and its a decision I make everyday in my daily life. I choose to be the best athlete I can be, I choose to be disciplined with my health and nutrition, I choose to be academically successful. Life is about choices and opportunities. I am excited to see what my future holds for me. I want to major in Poli-Sci, Psychology or Criminology and hopefully go on to be a lawyer. The psychological aspect of criminals is very interesting to me and I want to make a difference in the world. By the time I graduate I should have most of my first year college classes completed. I will be taking AP 11 English as well as Dual Credit courses in two Psychology classes, Biology and Statistics as well as 3 regular high school classes my Junior year and I have already planned for 5 Dual Credit Courses my Senior year as well as several regular high school courses. As you can imagine I am a dedicated and driven person with a good support system.
Even though school and volleyball are my main focus, I love God and attend church regularly and my nerd side likes to watch Anime in my free time :-) I also enjoy cooking, I'm a total foodie and nutrition, health and weight training are important to me. I love to swim and enjoy the ocean, the mountains and the city. Living in a small town I miss having the shopping and activity of the city and the food choices! But I love to be in the outdoors and nature too! Thank you for your interest in me. Please take a look at my newest NSCA Video. Good luck to you and your teams this year!
Jayla Yoder 2025 Setter (Opposite) 5'9"