Herauf relishing in final volleyball daysJess Herauf doesn’t call volleyball her favorite sport. But it is the one she enjoys the most.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Jess Herauf doesn’t call volleyball her favorite sport. But it is the one she enjoys the most.
The recent Dickinson High School graduate and North Dakota’s Gatorade Player of the Year gets a chance to say farewell to volleyball this week during the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Optimist All-Star Series.
“I miss volleyball so much during basketball and track season, so it’s fun to end with it and have one last time,” Herauf said. “Just practicing a couple days makes me miss it even more. I loved it so much. It’s awesome to finish with volleyball.”
Herauf, along with teammate Kara Froelich and coach Jay Schobinger, lead the West all-stars against the East during the two-match series to be held Monday at Fargo Shanley High School and Tuesday at Bismarck High School.
Herauf was Class A’s senior athlete of the year in volleyball last fall.
However, the 5-foot-9 outside hitter doesn’t plan to continue playing the sport.
She has signed a national letter of intent to compete for the University of Minnesota women’s track and field team next school year.
While Herauf is excited about joining the Gophers and being able to concentrate on track and field — she’ll likely compete in the heptathlon and javelin at Minnesota — she had a hard time letting volleyball go.
“I thought about it a lot,” Herauf said. “It was kind of a hard decision. I definitely love the sport.”
This past week, she has had a chance to make the most of her final week playing the sport competitively.
“It’s kind of sad, but I’m glad that we get to play again. I missed volleyball so much,” Herauf said. “It’s awesome. I love the girls already.”
Not only does she get to play with Froelich one final time, she has local standouts Steph Quintus of Killdeer, Alix Pearson of Hettinger and Payton Borud of Hazen on her side, as well as several Class A stars she played against throughout her career.
“It’s fun to meet all the new people. I’ve kind of heard their names, but I’ve never really got to play against them,” Herauf said. “It’s fun to see what they bring to the table, too.”
Schobinger said he enjoys watching players from rival teams, or even those who have never been on the same court as each other, come together for the all-star series.
“When you get to this match, it’s fun to watch them go out with kids they’ve competed against for their high school career, and just watch them get to know each other and become teammates,” Schobinger said. “It’s kind of cool.”
Herauf said it’s good to have old rivals on her side for a change, adding that Schobinger consistently told her to hit away from Tessa Neameyer, a libero from Bismarck Century on the West all-star team.
“I’m really happy she’s on our side now,” Herauf said with a laugh.
NDHSCA Optimist All-Star Series Rosters
Jess Herauf, Dickinson High; Kara Froelich, Dickinson High; Payton Borud, Hazen; Alix Pearson, Hettinger; Stephanie Quintus, Killdeer; Dani Bates, Watford City; Josette Glatt, Bismarck High; Mataya Grigsby, Minot Our Redeemer’s; Erin Haugen, Bismarck High; Tessa Neameyer, Bismarck Century; Marti Quale, Watford City; Niki Schmitz, Jamestown.
Coaches: Jay Schobinger, Dickinson; Tim Wallstrum, Kenmare.
Emily Asche, Grand Forks Red River; Hillary Rotunda, Fargo Shanley; Jill Gustafson, West Fargo; Kaitlyn Carlson, Fargo Shanley; Mandy Christian, Grand Forks Red River; Raquel Wellentin, Fargo South; Britney Held, North Star; Moriah Skroch, Lidgerwood; Mikkaela Toenies, Hillsboro; Sydney Larson, Park River; Sheyenne Schneider, Harvey; Paula Nagel, Linton.
Coaches: Carolyn Olson, G.F. Red River and Rich Olson, Langdon.
Matches: Monday at Fargo Shanley High School and Tuesday at Bismarck High School. Both matches scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CDT.
Admission: $5 adults, $3 students, free for children 12 and under.