The Grand Rapids Community College volleyball team’s season may be over, but one player is still getting awards for her outstanding season with the Raiders.
Sophomore outside hitter Kendra DeJonge has officially cemented her place as one of the greatest athletes to ever suit up in the Raiders’ blue and gold. On Wednesday, DeJonge was named first team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American and is the first volleyball player in school history to earn an All-American award in both her freshman and sophomore years.
“Being honored both years with this award is a very humbling feeling,” DeJonge said. “I worked hard my whole volleyball career to be the best teammate and player I could be, and to be recognized both of my years at GRCC as All-American shows how it has paid off.”
DeJonge and her Raiders are fresh off a sixth place finish at the NJCAA DII National Tournament in November where she was named to the All-Tournament team. She was one of the main reasons for the team’s success this year and put up the statistics to prove it. Even with all her success, she credited the hard work of her coaching staff and teammates with helping her achieve the personal goals she set before the season began.
“My personal goal this year was to move from second team to first team All-American, and that wouldn’t have been possible without my team, coaches and family,” DeJonge said. “I had to trust the process of this season and put my trust in my coaches and teammates. Our team working hard at every practice and game made it possible for me to be the best I can be.”
GRCC Athletic Director Bill Firn has had a front row seat for almost all of DeJonge’s games and he couldn’t be happier for her to be recognized nationally.
“I am thrilled that Kendra is receiving the recognition she deserves for all of the hard work she has put in over the last two seasons here at GRCC,” Firn said in an email to The Collegiate. “Despite all of Kendra’s accomplishments, she has remained humble and a great teammate, which says a lot about the person she is. Along with being an All-American on the volleyball court, Kendra has also earned first team All-Academic from the NJCAA for her hard work in the classroom as well. She will be greatly missed.”
In addition to being named first team All-American and All-Academic, DeJonge was also named Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference All-Region, first team All-Conference and took home the conference’s Player of the Year Award. GRCC volleyball head coach Chip Will could not be reached for comment on DeJonge’s award.
As for DeJonge’s future in college volleyball, no decision has been made, but she said she does intend to finish her degree.
“As of right now, I am undecided of where I will be moving on to next year,” DeJonge said. “But I will be attending a four-year college or university to finish out my schooling.”