Former Farmington grad happy with progress on Fort Lewis team
By Barbara Boxleitner
Special to the Times
JJ Curry has settled in with the Fort Lewis College women’s volleyball team.
The Farmington High School graduate is an outside hitter for the Skyhawks.
The junior had experience as a middle blocker for the Frank Phillips College indoor team as a freshman and as a member of the Arizona Christian University beach team as a sophomore.
After leaving the third school she attended in three years, she said she was playing in a grass league when Fort Lewis assistant coach Robin Dalton approached her after their teams had played a match.
That discussion resulted in her receiving a spring tryout. “She showed a lot of potential,” Fort Lewis head volleyball coach Giedre Tarnauskaite said. “It was a done deal.”
The coach informed the 5-foot-11 Curry that she likely would be an outside hitter, which she has been this season, although her background in the middle has allowed her to fill in there if need be.
“She adds a lot of value on our team,” the coach said.
Her play as a middle has helped the adjustment of Curry, who said, “Only the timing is different.”
Middles have to be super quick, yet “on the outside, you have to actually see it (the ball). It took her no time to develop those skills,” Tarnauskaite said. “She can see the court quite well. Her quickness has helped her.”
Despite not playing collegiately last year, Curry entered the week averaging 1.78 kills per set, third on the team. She had a season-high 14 kills in a win over Westminster, when she posted a season-best .355 hitting percentage.
“My vision was really good. I was able the stay on the ball, see the ball and see the court really well,” she said about the match, one of her two with at least 11 kills.
She knows power isn’t everything for a hitter. “On the outside you can get all kinds of junk. You are relied upon to put the ball down on all sections,” the coach said. “Most hitters want to hit as hard as they can. Her kills take it to the next level.”
Curry has averaged 1.09 digs per set, twice reaching a season-high of six while totaling five in four other matches.
“Being able to move quickly,” she said. “I work on trying to stay low, just so that it’s easier.”
In 55 sets, tied for fourth most on the squad, she had a .951 serve receive percentage in 183 attempts, fifth most among the Skyhawks.
“I’m very happy with the progress I have made,” she said. “I still have a lot of learning to do.”