BY RICK MORWICK
Emma Jones recently cemented her college plans by accepting a volleyball scholarship from the University of Indianapolis.
But the Greyhounds will have to wait a year for the Center Grove High School senior, who still has unfinished business with the Trojans.
Specifically, she wants to win a state championship. The Trojans have knocked on the door each of the past two seasons.
“We’re hoping to make it to state this year,” said Jones, a 6-foot-1 middle hitter. “My sophomore year we came super close. Hopefully, this year we can finally push through and beat (state powers) Avon and Cathedral and win it all.”
If all goes according to plan, the Trojans – who return all but one starter from last year’s sectional championship team – will be among the chief contenders for the Class 4A state title. And Jones will be a major reason why.
A three-year varsity player, Jones led the Trojans in hitting percentage last season and was among their leaders in kills (205) and blocks (97). Unfortunately for her and her teammates, she suffered a left ACL tear during the final practice before the sectional final and missed the remainder of the postseason.
Although the Trojans went on to win the sectional, they were defeated in the regional by Columbus East – a bitter disappoint for an experienced team that had reached the state finals the previous season.
But Jones, who expects to be fully recovered when the season starts, is confident the Trojans will regroup and re-emerge as championship contenders.
“All the seniors are really excited,” she saId. “Things should be good.”
Jones is well-versed in comebacks. She tore her right ACL two years and has had two surgeries on her right knee for meniscus tears. She bounced back each time but did give up one of her favorite sports because of the injuries.
“Basketball was my main sport, and volleyball was something I did on the side to have something else to do,” Jones said. “Then after I tore my ACL, I kind of knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to get back to basketball, and so that was really hard. The doctors told me that probably wasn’t a good idea, so I kind of stuck to volleyball.”
The Trojans are glad she did.
“Emma is a great kid to coach. She is always striving to be better, and that’s what makes her a top player on our team, in the county and throughout the state,” Trojans coach Maggie Harbison said. “The way she has overcome adversity makes me so proud. She’s a hard worker and always puts the team above herself.
“She has rehabbed during the offseason and is now back in the best shape she’s ever been. Emma is a leader on our team.”
Jones embraces the role.
“I think I’ll be kind of a leader this year, carrying the team, hopefully, with kills and blocks,” she said. “I like being with the girls. I really like the competition and just always trying to push myself to get better. My teammates make it all worth it. It’s a lot of fun.”
THE JONES FILE
Name: Emma Jones
Favorite TV show: “Dexter”
Favorite movie: “Finding Nemo”
Hobbies: Crafts, photography
College plans: Has verball committed to continue volleyball career at the University of Indianapolis; wants to study biology or chemistry with the goal of attending medical school
Parents: Mike and Aimee Jones