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Seniors impact City/County All Star game

With the boys’ spring sports teams flourishing with playoff success, the girls’ volleyball team has resurfaced unexpectedly with three players chosen to represent the City in the annual City vs. County All Star game on May 22.

Three seniors led campus varsity volleyball in November 2001, when they went 14-0 in the West Sierra League and all three were awarded all-league honors.

Jennifer Jesser, Amber Dragoo, and Dani Fries, have proved to the city, school and to themselves that they can play with the best high school players in the Central Valley.

“It was a great feeling to realize my life-long dream,” Dragoo said. “We’ve all worked very hard to get to the skill level that we are at today, and it’s nice to get some recognition for this work.”

The game was held at Reedley College, and the girls hoped that this experience will benefit them in preparing for their college career. All three girls played throughout the match, logging as many minutes as the girls who represented the larger schools.

“They (three girls) were just as competitive and talented as the girls from the other schools,” Christopher Schultz, boys’ varsity basketball coach, said, “and they represented FC in a most excellent way. For example, Dani easily was one of the hardest hitters on the court.”

Each high school team in the city was scouted for talented players to participate on the All Star team. Playing with top-ranking schools such as Clovis West and Buchanan, and against large schools such as Immanuel, Washington Union, Sanger and Yosemite, the girls had tough competition going into the game.

“It’s a privilege to be elected out of all the possible students,” Fries said. “We were all excited to play with these talented girls from other schools that are five times our size. The competition was tough, but when all the best players in the city get together to play volley, all you can expect is a very intense match.”

The County defeated the City in four sets: 15-8, 12-15, 16-14, 15-8. In the City’s only win, the three campus stars started as a unit and were instrumental in the victory. Coincidentally, in all the loses, the girls did not play as a unit.

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’m one of the best volleyball players in the city,” Jesser said. “I’m excited to be playing with my teammates, and although we lost, it was still a great experience.”

Jesser plans to attend Fresno Pacific University and continue in her athletic career.

“I’ve been in a Christian environment the majority of my life,” Jesser said, “and I want to continue that through college.”

Fries plans on playing volleyball at Fresno City College and Dragoo plans to do the same at Humboldt State in Northern California.

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