Featured Athlete of the Week: Jacqueline SmithSubmitted: 10/09/2017
Mark Spillane
Mark Spillane
Sports Reporter/Anchor

Featured Athlete of the Week: Jacqueline Smith
EAGLE RIVER - Volleyball is in Jacqueline Smith's blood.

"It's been my dream to play volleyball because it's been in my family of course because of my mom who started it," said the Northland Pines sophomore.

Her mom and her head coach, Julie Smith, played for the University of Wisconsin. But that's not where the family's link to the sport stopped. Jacqueline's older sisters Maddie and Lexi dominated the Great Northern Conference from 2013-2016. And Jacqueline is picking up where they left off.

"She's always been surrounded by her siblings so I think it's great, I'm so proud of her because she's doing fantastic without them here," said Julie Smith.

Jacqueline Smith racked up 99 kills across four matches last week. That number puts her season total at 225, but she says she's more concerned with other parts of her game.

"I want to be an all-around player instead of just being known as a stronger hitter," said Smith.

And she says that includes her approach off the court.

"Just be a good leader by being humble and not trying to be better than everyone else, just keep uplifting everyone else and try to make them better while making yourself better also," said Smith.

That humility is easy to see. When talking about her own success, Smith is quick to deflect credit to the Eagles' setter Hadley Kruse.

"My success is just because of Hadley, our setter," said Smith. "I wouldn't be able to do any of this if I didn't have a setter like Hadley."

That willingness to give credit to others also shows leadership, even as an underclassman.

"I think of her as older than what she is, so I'm wondering why is she doing this or why isn't she doing this and I'm reminded she is only a sophomore," said Julie Smith.

Even as just a sophomore, Smith is already creating her own volleyball legacy, by playing out her passion just like her mom and sisters did.

Smith and the Eagles will play their final game of the regular season Tuesday against Antigo. They are currently 6-5 in the Great Northern Conference.

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