Final Class of 2018 Player Rankings #1 – Jaela Zimmerman
It’s officially summer time, and with that, it’s time to send off our 2018 players with the final rankings of their high school careers. We’ve updated the Class of 2018 rankings now that their senior years of high school –…
It’s officially summer time, and with that, it’s time to send off our 2018 players with the final rankings of their high school careers.
We’ve updated the Class of 2018 rankings now that their senior years of high school – and club volleyball – are over. Each day we will release more rankings until we get to the top.
For now, here is the player that finished #1. Congrats and best of luck in the future! Thanks for all you did to make high school volleyball in Nebraska so amazing!
#1 – Jaela Zimmerman, 6’2, OH, Malcolm (VCNebraska) – committed to Creighton
If we’re being completely honest with each other – and honesty is always the best policy – there is no way I would have believed you in 2015 that the lanky, thin, fairly uncoordinated, knee-problem plagued Zimmerman would become the state’s most feared attacker of the last five years. And, yet, that’s exactly what happened.
The growth and maturation of Zimmerman has been incredible to watch. She stopped growing so fast, filled out, became incredibly coordinated, her body got stronger and she became – beyond a shadow of a doubt – the #1 player and most complete player in the Class of 2018.
“Jaela’s outstanding because she is a ‘package player’. You’re going to notice her in the front row but she’s just as good in the back row–both in serve receive and defense,” Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth said. “She also is a great leader and motivator that will translate well onto our team.”
Zimmerman considered Colorado State, Florida, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska and Wyoming. Creighton, however, saw her ability and put forward its faith in her before the others did and for that, the Bluejays will have the best in-state college prospect since the Rolfzen twins.
I think the thing I will remember most about Zimmerman’s high school career is the passion she played with and that her motor was always running at maximum capacity – a trait of all the great ones. Of course, there is also the fact that when the stakes were highest is when Zimmerman played her best.
In a 2016 substate match against Grand Island Central Catholic, Zimmerman had 39 kills, a block and 21 digs as she willed her team to a five-set victory and on to the state tournament. The same thing happened against in a 2017 substate match when Zimmerman went off for 38 kills, five blocks and 22 digs as the Clippers beat Syracuse in five sets.
As a senior Zimmerman put down 568 kills with an astounding .484 hitting percentage despite the fact everyone in the gym knew she was getting set. In her final two years, Zimmerman had double-digit kills in 63 of 67 matches – averaging 6.3 kills per set. She played in four state tournament matches – and led Malcolm to a runner-up finish in 2016 – and in those four matches averaged 24.5 kills, two blocks and 18.5 digs per match.