Billie Jarrett cheers on teammate during a home game. 

It all started at the Catholic Youth Organization league at St. Christopher Elementary School located in Speedway, Ind., where in fourth grade Billie Jarrett, now a junior, started her volleyball career at Franklin College. 

Volleyball was not the only sport Jarrett decided to try out, but it was the one she ended up committing to. 

“My family says, ‘Always try something once and if you don’t like it, you can quit,’” Jarrett said. “But I just fell in love with the sport and I ended up quitting every other sport I played to pursue volleyball.”

Jarrett continued the sport at Speedway High School, where she was student council secretary, freshman mentor, Spanish club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, basketball and track. 

She was conflicted when it came to choosing a college to play for. Initially, she was considering Marian University, but her plans changed when a setter that had beaten her at state committed to the college.

“I was like, ‘Okay, obviously I’m passionate about playing and I want to play in college,’” Jarrett said. “So I took it a little bit more seriously and decided to commit to Franklin College.” 

Now, Jarrett is a setter on the Franklin College volleyball team. In September, Jarrett reached her 1,000th assist in a game against Capital University in Ohio.

 “I went into the season having, like, 870. So, within about five or 10 games I knew I could get it and I was just keeping track, and I knew I was gonna get it that weekend. I was really excited,” Jarrett said.  

Jarrett is involved in several things on campus. She is in the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority where she is academic chairman. She is the vice president of the Math Computing Club, a supplemental instructor for discrete math, and works in the math study center. 

With all of the activities she’s involved in, time management is key in balancing her academics and athletics.

“If I know I have practice and meetings later in the day, I work hard in between classes, and get as much done as I can,” Jarrett said. “Just knowing where your priorities lie obviously school and family come first and then volleyball, and then all the other fun things come later.”

Because she is competitive and always looking to improve, Jarrett improves the team culture, said Head Volleyball Coach Randi Garrett.

“She always is looking for answers, and like I said she’s competitive so she’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure the team’s doing better and make sure she’s doing what she needs to be doing,” Garrett said. “She’s an awesome leader in that way.”

Jarrett said the team has lost 11 players since last season, so the focus for the current team is maintaining a positive team culture.

“We really just focus on being good teammates and supporting each other through everything. We do a lot with a growth mindset,” Jarrett said. “Next ball mentality just always focusing on getting better and bettering ourselves and bettering each other in practices. That’s always helped us.”

Jarrett also said the team is enjoying their time with coach Garrett, since she had left during Jarrett’s freshman year to take a  job at the University of Northwestern Ohio as a lead assistant coach. When former Volleyball Head Coach, Mary Johnston, ended her 11 years at Franklin to take a position at Macalester College in Minnesota, Garrett returned to take the role.

“Franklin is a good place,” Garrett said. “You get good people and good kids. You have a lot of support around you, so it’s a good place to work.”

In her three years at Franklin, Jarrett has made many memories with the team. But, one of her favorite memories from volleyball is a game against Anderson University her freshman year. 

“That was a lot of fun because we had just gotten out of a losing streak and we played phenomenally,” Jarrett said. “Like, 100% effort and there’s so much fun.” 

Another favorite memory of Jarrett’s was the game against Transylvania University because the team is consistently ranked above Franklin, made the women work harder. They won 3-0. 

“Obviously we’re never picked to win against Transy, and we want to stress it,” Jarrett said. “That was a lot of fun seeing the team come together for ones like those.”

The Franklin College volleyball team took on Hanover College at Hanover on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

“I think the game against Hanover will be interesting, as Franklin College volleyball is defending the Golden Ball,” Jarrett said. “We’re both competitive teams with a strong rivalry, so I think it will be an exciting game.” 

The Grizzlies fell to Hanover 3-0, meaning Hanover took home the Golden Ball. Jarrett achieved 20 assists.

On Oct. 30, The Franklin College volleyball finished off the season with a game against Defiance College. Jarrett feels positively about the end of the 2021 season.

“The game against Defiance College will be a great way to end conference play,” Jarrett said. “The team is feeling very confident in ending on a high note. I think it will be a very fun last week of conference play.” 

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