A WALK WITH A HAWK ... FEATURING: JESSIE VICIC
Sept. 13, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - It has often been said, "You only have one chance to make a first impression." For some, it's a chance that comes and goes. While for others, it's an opportunity that allows the individual to set the world on fire.
Luckily for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore volleyball team, the initial impression left by sophomore setter Jessie Vicic was one that helped the squad make history.
The Cambridge, Ontario native began her career at UMES with one of the best freshman campaigns ever recorded in the history of Hawk volleyball. Aside from being honored to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference first-team in 2011, she was first in the conference and 77th in Division I with 10.42 assists-per-game.
Vicic finished last season as the team leader in assists (1,209), while also standing third in blocks (59) and fourth in service aces per-game (0.29). She also contributed with 15 kills and had several games of at least 50 assists, including a 56 assist effort against Campbell last year. She started in all but one match last season, while leading the team to a 12-0 conference record and a 9-0 record at home.
Her performance in the MEAC Championship victory over Florida A&M was nothing short of remarkable. It was an effort that made her first impressions a bold statement.
Vicic finished the game with a career-high six blocks, three of which were in the fifth and final set. She also notched 46 assists in the victory over the Rattlers.
When asked about her greatest athletic achievement, the humble student-athlete did not reference her personal statistics. Instead, Vicic spoke of the success of the team around her.
"It felt really good to come in as a freshman and win the MEAC Championship," said Vicic. "It was really an honor to come in and be a part of history."
Ironically, she did not play volleyball growing up. Vicic was an elite gymnast in her native country of Canada, where she won many awards as a youth. Her career was highlighted when she won Provincials at the age of 11. Despite her success in gymnastics, she would pick up volleyball as a freshman at Forest Heights Collegiate Institute.
At Forest Heights, she was named a first-team All-Star for four consecutive years. She won CWUSSA and WCSAA championships each year, while attending Canadian nationals and competing with the Predators Volleyball Club.
The success that she attained in high school helped give her the desire to play volleyball at the collegiate level. While searching for the appropriate college to attend, UMES opened her eyes.
"I chose UMES primarily because of the volleyball team," said Vicic. "I wanted to be a part of a strong volleyball program. The school also has allowed me to pursue a degree in special education. The girls on the team are great here."
Once her playing career with volleyball is over, Vicic plans on becoming an elementary school teacher. She also aspires to coach volleyball for the club that she played for as well.
Despite being in just her sophomore season, Vicic has achieved more than many student-athletes have in their entire collegiate experience.
The sky is certainly the limit for this Canadian and it will be interesting to see what the next few years hold for her. Whether it was the first impressions she made as a freshman or the success she continues to attain to this day, Vicic has already left her mark on the program.
Please follow as each Thursday as a new student-athlete will be profiled at UMES.
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