By RUSS RIGGS
Senior Casey Jennings is peaking at just the right time.
Jennings is third on the team, averaging 4.3 kills per game and has 21 digs on the season.
In addition to his statistics, Jennings has been one of the emotional leaders on the court. When asked what his favorite part of playing volleyball is, his simple response was, “I love competing.”
But things haven’t always been so easy for Jennings. The road to BYU was long and hard.
“No one recruited me out of high school. Most people said I was too small to play in college,” said Jennings.
“My high school coach told me that I should try and play at the junior college level. I went to Long Beach City College and tried out for the team, but I got cut,” he said.
Jennings took a couple years off from competitive volleyball to evaluate his situation. “I played beach volleyball every day,” he said.
He decided to give college volleyball another try and he enlisted in school at Orange Coast College. Jennings made the team and helped Orange Coast make it to the finals, ironically against the team that cut him.
“I told the coach that cut me to remember my face because he hadn’t seen the last of me,” said Jennings. “We played his team on the finals and beat him.”
Casey then transferred to Golden West Junior College where he was named MVP after his team won the JC championship.
After this, Division I colleges took notice. “I was recruited heavily by UC Irvine and Long Beach State,” said Jennings.
“I thought BYU had a great team and I could be an asset, so I talked to assistant coach Hugh McCutcheon. It came down to a decision between Long Beach State and BYU,” he said.
Jennings said he has loved his BYU volleyball experience and points to three reasons he chose BYU.
“The three things I love the most about BYU are the fans, the facilities for the athletes and the coaching.”
Jennings said McGown is the best coach he’s played for. “He knows more than anyone about volleyball. He studies it everyday,” said Jennings.
After his BYU volleyball days are over, Casey said he wants to continue his career either in a European league or on the beach.
Casey is majoring in wellness and fitness management and would like to be a motivational speaker for young children. “I would like to work in an environment with troubled kids,” said Jennings.