Post Classifieds

Freshman volleyball setter Neal proves quick study

By Jon McDaniel
On October 21, 2010

For some people, volleyball may just be a game to play on the beach during the summer, but for A&M-Commerce freshman setter Jordan Neal, it has become a lifelong passion.

"I was really raised around volleyball," Neal said. "My mother was a volleyball coach and I began playing back when I was six. I just really understand the sport and it is a passion of mine. The experience shaped me because I was always a step ahead of everyone around me in skill work. I was introduced into it so early and already knew the basic skills, so having that advantage put me as a role model to many of the kids."

This is Neal's first year playing at the collegiate level, and as most freshmen discover, it's much different than a high school environment.

"Playing here at A&M-Commerce is so much different than it was playing back at Joshua High School," Neal said. "Everyone here is inspired to play. The competitive level is much greater. We work really hard, and everyone wants to be here and win, while maybe in high school, not everyone took the sport that serious."

It didn't take Neal long to warm up the level of competition in college. She was recently named the Lone Star Conference Co-Setter of the Week.

"I was really shocked when I heard," she said. "I'm very excited. It's an honor, and I just want to build off of that and help this team win."

That same week, Neal set a career-best 57 assists in a five-set win over Incarnate Word. She also had 25 assists in each of her matches against Texas A&M-International and Texas Women's University. While playing against A&M-International, she had two service aces and three kills. She also had three kills against Incarnate Word and four more against TWU.

Neal helped shoulder the disappointment when the Lions had a four game winning streak snapped in a 3-1 loss against Southern Arkansas on Oct. 11th.

"The game against Southern Arkansas was a complete madhouse," she said. "The crowd was yelling rude things, such as calling us demeaning names and telling us that we suck. Later on in the evening, we started having fun with them. Anytime we would do something good on the court, we would just turn and smile or wave at them, just to keep it classy. The refs and line judges were on Arkansas' side so it was us six against the entire gym."

Jordan said she would like a re-match against West Texas A&M, whom the Lions played earlier this year.

"The match I was looking forward to the most at the start of the year was against the top West Texas team," she said. "I wish we could go back and play them again. I want to play them again because it was still so early in the season and our team was still working on connecting with each other. Now that we have figured each other out, playing the number one team in the conference would be fun for us because we would definitely be the biggest fight for them to stay on top."

Neal said she and her teammates still keep the same pre-game rituals they began at the season's start.

"Before games, we usually have dance parties to warm up," Neal said. "I don't get much into the dancing, but a lot of the girls will just crank up some music and dance to it because it gets everyone in a good mood and gets everyone excited. As for me, before every game, I always have to put my left sock on first, then my right sock and I do the same thing with my knee pads. I also wear my lucky headband before every game. I guess I'm a little superstitious."

The season is nearly halfway over, but the team is still building chemistry amongst themselves.

"Looking back at the season, I don't really have one particular favorite memory so far this season, but I will always cherish the experience," Neal said. "I've gotten the chance to meet new people and make close new friends, so that's been the best part of it all."

One of the friends Neal made is teammate Morgan Moeller. Moeller is an outside hitter playing in her second year as a Lion and said she had confidence in her newest teammate.

"Jordan Neal is an essential part of our team and respectively a young leader," Moeller said. "She is involved in every single play we make, so we naturally trust and rely on her decisions she makes on the court. Coming in as a starting freshman setter, she's had to mature into college volleyball quickly, and she has done so with poise. Jordan is an extraordinary leader and a huge influence on our team."

After graduation, Neal plans to obtain a graduate degree in English and eventually become a teacher and a volleyball coach. Until that time, she aspires to continue leading the Lions to victory.


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent The East Texan News Articles

Discuss This Article



East Texan readers should know that Houston LASIK specialist, Dr. Amjad Khokar, member of the Texas Medical Association, is a LASIK surgeon in Houston offering the most advanced LASIK technology and experience, providing a safe LASIK surgery.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format