Montayasia Jones

Suwannee’s Montayasia Jones, right, will represent the U.S. in a national volleyball tournament next summer.

LIVE OAK, Fla. — Suwannee’s talented athlete Montayasia Jones will expand her resume with a stint overseas this summer on a national volleyball team.

Jones will travel to Spain in July to compete in the international tournament.

“The team is called America’s team,” SHS volleyball coach Laura Kinsel said. “I was contacted one day by the director of that program and they formally invited Mo (Jones) to be a part of it. We are really excited for her and this incredible opportunity, and I know she will make Suwannee proud from the other side of the ocean. She is a great leader. Her teammates respect her immensely, and they follow her lead whether they know it or not. She has a way about her that changes the dynamic of the court. It’s very unique.”

For the 2019 Bulldogs, Jones set single-season school records with 145 kills and 60 aces. She also had 107 digs and 31 blocks.

“She has instincts that can’t be taught. And that gives her the ability to anticipate the game and correct the chaos,” Kinsel said. “Intense moments of the game and players lose themselves on the court and they stop playing their positions. When the game gets chaotic, how do we regain control? We have to correct the chaos? That is what Mo does well.”

Besides playing outside hitter and middle blocker for the SHS volleyball team, Jones is a starting forward on the basketball team, and may play flag football and join track at the start of next year.

“That’s four sports at one time,” Kinsel said. “And she’s a star in all of them.”

Kinsel, who is also an assistant flag football coach, is hoping to develop more stores as she has recently started a club volleyball team, which is part of the Amateur Athletic Union.

“I want to improve my team and give my girls the opportunity for an exciting, competitive experience,” she said. “Because we live in the heart of the country — too far away from any volleyball club — and because the cost of the club has gotten to be so expensive, it’s hard for our girls to have access to that kind of opportunity. AAU is an affordable and local way for my girls to compete inside the club world.”

Although she only advertised for players within local schools by word of mouth, Kinsel has been successful is attracting participants.

“I had enough girls show up at tryouts to fill two teams, a 15 and under and an 18 and under team,” Kinsel said. “We will be traveling around Florida, and parts of Georgia to compete in volleyball tournaments. Out first tournament will be this weekend, Dec. 14, in Jacksonville.”

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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