LCSC signs middle blocker Bird from SLCC
LEWISTON, Idaho – Jenika Bird, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker who played at Salt Lake Community College last season, signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team and is currently enrolled at the college, Warrior assistant coach Burdette Greeny has announced.
Bird played for Sue Delaney at SLCC last season where she earned first-team all-conference honors and was a First Team All-Region 18 pick for both the regular season and the region tournament. She also earned Academic All-America honors.
Bird helped the Bruins to the conference title and a ninth-place finish at the national junior college tournament. She averaged 1.41 kills per game and led the team with 134 blocks and a 1.13 blocks per game average.
“We are very excited that Jenika has joined this program,” Greeny said. “It was a whirlwind of activity once we received Jenika’s commitment on December 23. Within the next 18 days we had her admitted, enrolled in classes, and moved from Salt Lake City for the start of classes on January 12. Nursing Professor Mary Lou Robinson played an instrumental role in facilitating Jenika’s transition, to which we are all very thankful. Jenika has been able to get a jump start on her nursing classes, while being able to take advantage of our spring workouts to become familiar with our system.
“This has allowed us to see first hand Jenika’s work ethic and ability to take coaching and make physical adjustments. What Jen (LCSC head coach Jennifer Greeny) saw in recruiting Jenika (shown making a block in the photo on the left) is what we are seeing in workouts with us. She is very athletic and can absolutely jump out of the gym. Blocking comes naturally to her and she possesses a fast arm swing that will allow her to be a potent offensive threat for us.”
Jenika, who is from Green River, Wyo., played the 2007 season at Western Wyoming Community College before transferring to SLCC. At Western Wyoming, she earned first-team all-conference honors as well as being selected to the First Team All-Region 9 regular season and tournament squads. She also earned conference and Region 9 academic honors.
In high school, Bird earned Wyoming Class 4A All State honors her junior year at Green River High, and also was a 4A All State player in basketball her junior and senior seasons. She had a 3.80 grade point average in high school and entered LCSC with a 3.70 GPA.
Bird is the fifth recruit signed for next season by the LCSC coaching staff. She joins 5-3 defensive specialist Kaylee Rector from Spokane’s Shadle Park High, 5-2 defensive specialist Shumaker of Kentwood High, 6-2 middle blocker Liz Clark of Southridge High, and Alyssa Wold, a 5-10 setter/right-side hitter from Spokane’s West Valley High School.
LCSC posted a 30-4 record last season and won its second straight conference regular season and tournament titles. LCSC advanced to the national tournament and was ranked No. 14 in the final NAIA poll.
“We had a large void to fill this recruiting season with the loss of our two senior middles, Julie Maciboba and Austyn Lewis,” Burdette Greeny said. “While we can never really replace the unique abilities and personality each player takes with them when they leave, we try to find the best combination of talent and character that is available for incoming players. We can tell you we are thrilled to have come across a player and person like Jenika Bird. Her character traits are through the roof – whether it be integrity, competitiveness, discipline, or many others – Jenika is everything that we want in a player. She already fits in very well with our returning players and even though this next season will be her first with us, we are looking to her for leadership. We feel blessed Jenika chose us.”
Bird, who is the daughter of John and Connie Bird, has two brothers, Cameron and Jordan, and a sister, Candace. She is majoring in Nursing at LCSC.