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Jungsten finds her volleyball junction

Del Oro senior lands scholarship through hard work, perseverance
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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LOOMIS — To Tatum Jungsten pursuing an athletic scholarship is similar to the dating process.
“You have to put yourself out there,” Jungsten said. “It’s like dating is with the boys. You can’t stand back and watch. You can’t be shy about it. If you are bugging the coach, at least you are on their mind.”
That aggressive approach, coupled with her skills as a standout volleyball player, earned the Del Oro High senior a full-ride scholarship to Albany University in New York.
Many phone calls, e-mails and sent tapes, landed her in New York last weekend, officially accepting her offer to play college volleyball.
“It was super fun. I’m excited for the next level of volleyball because it only gets faster pace,” Jungsten said. “I’m nervous because I just don’t know what to expect.”
For Jungsten, leaving Del Oro means embracing change, like making new friends and being thousands of miles from home. She said she’d especially miss her mom and German shepherd mix dog Sophie.
“I’m actually really sad to graduate. I like school. My friends are what made Del Oro a good atmosphere to be at,” Jungsten said. “It’s (Albany) kind of like DO with the spirit contained with the athletes. There will be volleyball players at the football game. It seems like a pretty close family. “
On the court, aggression is the key too, according to Del Oro volleyball coach Stuart Kageta. In Del Oro’s 3-1 loss to Rocklin Tuesday night, Kageta said the Thunder won the match because they were relentless. Jungsten agreed that Rocklin maintained its fervor through all four games.
The two teams were tied atop the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II power ratings going into the match. Although Del Oro did beat its Sierra Foothill League rival in the first half of league play, the momentum fell to the Thunder early on.
“I think we shot ourselves in the foot. We dug ourselves into a hole at the beginning of every game,” Jungsten said. “Every time we started to get momentum back we would mess up. It felt different than the last time we played.”
Rocklin won the first game 25-15. In the second game the Golden Eagles brushed past the Thunder with a 27-25 win, but going into game three Rocklin regained a solid footing. Game three and four yielded 25-20 and 25-15 wins respectively for the Thunder.
Rocklin improved its SFL record to 5-1, while Del Oro’s stands at 4-2.
“Unfortunately we dug ourselves a little deep the first game,” Kageta said. “We needed to be aggressive in all phases. Rocklin won the match because they maintained their aggression. We were a little hesitant in the passing and serving.”
Prior to Del Oro’s win against Rocklin earlier this season, the Golden Eagles hadn’t won a match against the Thunder in three or four years, according to Kageta. Although the outcome was dismal for Del Oro (4-2 SFL, 15-9 overall), there were several bright spots in the game.
Del Oro sophomore Amy Heyn had 26 assists, while senior Stephanie Solich led with nine kills and eight service points. Jungsten and junior Morgan Lees each contributed eight kills.
Kageta said Jungsten always brings her passion for the game to the court.
“She is really bringing a lot of fire to our team,” Kageta said. “She gets the girls pumped up. The senior leadership is so crucial. She got some big blocks tonight.”
Kageta and Jungsten said senior libero Megan Hentschke’s leadership also stood out against Rocklin.
“Megan Hentschke is always consistent in her play. People count on her a lot to help to make the good passes,” Kageta said. “She always provides the defensive stability.”
With four league matches left in the season, Jungsten said she hopes the team will leave Del Oro with a parting gift before she graduates — an SFL title.
“I really want to put a banner up,” Jungsten said. “It’s my senior year and we haven’t done it for awhile.”
Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.