Jaden Hendrickson gets a pass to serve at Cal Poly for volleyball

Olivia Erickson

“Being out on the volleyball courts is an escape from everything. From the second I started playing volleyball in 7th grade, I joined the Absolute [volleyball] team and I knew from that moment, this is what I wanted to do,” Jaden Hendrickson said.

Standing with other Cal Poly volleyball commits, Hendrickson poses for the camera. (Photo courtesy of Hendrickson’s Cal Poly volleyball coach)

Volleyball requires a combination of physical skills such as sprinting, jumping and diving, It is also vital that a player has the mental skills such as strategy, teamwork and communication. For six years, Hendrickson executed those skills on the courts, and it ultimately earned Hendrickson a spot on Cal Poly’s volleyball team– a Division 1 (DI) program. 

According to sophomore and teammate, Ella Moran, Hendrickson’s commitment and dedication to the sport has made this opportunity very well deserved.  

“I have been playing with [Hendrickson] for two years now, and it has been a great experience. [Hendrickson] is a competitor and always gives it her all on the court. She is incredibly dedicated to this sport, her success and especially her team. [Hendrickson] has always been quite a determined individual, so I know she will achieve great things at Cal Poly,” Moran said.

Four years ago, Hendrickson began playing Absolute volleyball. Devoting time to improving her skills, Hendrickson landed herself a spot on the Redwood girls’ varsity volleyball team by sophomore year. Being on the girls’ varsity volleyball team allowed Hendrickson to become better equipped to perform at a higher level. Through passing, serving, setting, spiking, and furthering her devotion to volleyball, she landed right where she had long awaited to be. Hendrickson will be an upcoming right side, outside, and potentially a defensive specialist on the Cal Poly volleyball team.

“When I visited Cal Poly in June, I fell in love with [the school]. Since I always aimed to be going into the Division I (DI) league of Volleyball, I just knew I had to take it to [Southern California]. It has always been my number one school. I love the coaching staff, I love the team and the dynamic of Cal Poly as a whole,” Hendrickson said.

Cheering on her teammate Katelyn McKnew, Hendrickson fills with joy after a winning point. (Photo courtesy of Marin Independent Journal)

Hendrickson is willing to take on any role or responsibility assigned to her and is determined to strive and excel in that role.

“I hope to add a lot to the team in whatever way I can and just be there for them. My freshman year playing time is undetermined, but [I will] work up the latter and [gradually receive] playing time. Being there in whatever way they need me is the ultimate goal,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson has the ability to see the court and to see the ball, while supporting her teammates, and performing under great pressure. Throughout Hendricksons years of playing, she maintained quite a leadership position as well.

“[Hendrickson] is definitely going to be one of the best [DI] players at Cal Poly. [She] has always brought a lot of competitiveness to our team, and she has always inclined each and every one of us to do our best. I think that is what exemplifies her as such an overall great leader,” Moran said.