Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Jasmine Jones signs with ENMU


November 20, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari's Jasmine Jones fields a serve during a match Friday against Navajo Prep at the Class 3A volleyball tournament at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

Senior Jasmine Jones, a key figure in Tucumcari's first berth in the state volleyball tournament in 30 years, signed a letter of commitment last week to attend Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and play volleyball for the Greyhounds there.

Jones, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, led the Lady Rattlers with more than 200 kills this season. She also led the team in hitting percentage, kill percentage and service aces. Tucumcari finished 11-13 on the year, qualifying for the state tourney for the first time since 1989.

She became a fan favorite at Tucumcari for her booming spikes. A video recently circulated on social media of her slamming the ball off the side of the head of a defender for Tularosa, then the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A.

The ENMU Athletics account on Twitter announced Jones' commitment Wednesday, when the Lady Rattlers were departing for Rio Rancho to play in the state tournament.

Jones will receive a partial scholarship to play for the Greyhounds volleyball squad, an NCAA Division II program. A signing ceremony was scheduled for Monday afternoon at the high school, after the Quay County Sun's deadline.

Jones, interviewed outside her team's locker room after Navajo Prep eliminated it from the state volleyball tournament Friday afternoon, said other schools also had recruited her to play basketball. She is all-district center on the Lady Rattlers' hoops team. She also led the school's softball team in hits, RBI and triples last season.

But she said she wanted to stick to volleyball. She was familiar with several of the Greyhounds after competing against them as high-schoolers years earlier.

"I knew a lot of the players, and I felt comfortable and safe in that environment," Jones said. "And it's not too far from home."

Her Tucumcari coach, Dana Benavidez, said Jones "not only is a phenomenal volleyball player, but she's a phenomenal athlete."

"She's a player any coach would want on her team," Benavidez said. "Whatever she's doing, she gives 110%. She's a great kid, too. I'm going to miss her."

Benavidez said Jones is the first scholarship player from Tucumcari in recent memory, probably in at least two decades.

"I graduated 20 years ago, and it's been longer than that," she said.

The Greyhounds, coming off a 4-17 season, are coached by Sia Poyer and play in the Lone Star Conference.


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