This archived article was written by: Richard Worsham
From Virginia, to Tennessee, to Arizona and finally Utah, Jaelyn Makenna Olsen hopes to help her volleyball team be the Scenic Western athletic Conference region champions.
Olsen, was born Roanoke, Virginia, where she lived until she was 7 when her family moved to Tennessee for her father’s job. Olsen loves playing volleyball, but initially started playing when she was in the 8th grade because she didn’t make the soccer team.
From her 9th to 11th grade years she played volleyball at Science Hill High School. Her family then moved again to Tucson, Arizona and finished up her high school education at Ironwood High School. She cherishes many memories from different games, but her senior year at Ironwood when Olsen’s team beat their rival Salpointe Catholic High School ranks as one of her most cherished.
Olsen knew she loved volleyball because it struck a very strong personal chord for her from the very beginning, “I knew I loved volleyball because it made me love my height and I had something that I could work towards and practice for. And it’s freaking fun so there’s that too!”
When she was a sophomore at Science Hill, Utah State University Eastern Coach Brittney Lee tried to recruit her. Olsen wasn’t too interesting seeing that Coach Lee at that time was the head coach at Southern Virginia University and it didn’t seem quite right for Olsen. When Coach Lee got the job here at USU Eastern, it became a no brainer for Olsen saying; “ I was like heck, yeah I’ll come play for you.”
She loves her coaches, teammates and even classes she admitted that she didn’t like the city at first but, “it has grown on [her.]”
The volleyball team has had good and bad games this year, but they remained focused on trying to win the conference and make it to the national tournament. Olsen said “Our team goals aren’t necessarily to get a certain record, but to just go out there, give it our all, and win. Nationals is what we are working towards.”