Jada Divita commits to Lipscomb University for volleyball

Anna Czech '23, Copy Editor

As soon as she hears the solid thump of the volleyball against her arms, Jada Divita ’22 anticipates the muffled roar of the crowd and the swarming celebration of her teammates to soon follow.
According to Divita, the many hours spent training and working herself to the point of exhaustion pay off as she experiences the joy of the team support. She said she found her passion for the sport that has driven her to the spot she now holds on the D1 volleyball team at Lipscomb University.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned through moving up is a good work ethic,” Divita said. “It’s taught me that if you want something in life you really have to go after it and get it instead of just sitting around and waiting for it.”
The offer Divita accepted on Friday, October 9 had a four-week timestamp according to Janeil Divita, Jada Divita’s mother, and the varsity volleyball coach at Grosse Pointe South, forcing her to make a quick decision between Lipscomb and the nine other schools that made offers. However, Janeil Divita said her daughter’s recruitment process and goal of playing volleyball in college began much earlier due to her experience playing a sport in college and the entire family’s athletic inclination.
“I’ve always given them [her children] opportunities to try different things,” Janeil Divita said. “And I think that they were gifted with physical size and skills to be athletic people. So I just tried to nurture that.”
Jada Divita believes her commitment to volleyball starting in her early teens is what has driven her to her place on Lipscomb’s team. She said she had to work her way up through many levels of volleyball teams when she began the sport at age 12 because she had been playing softball her entire life instead of focusing on volleyball and wanted to be competitive with other players.
“I was on a 4s team, the fourth team down in the club, so the next year I worked really hard,” Jada Divita said. “I knew that this was what I wanted, and I moved up to the 3s team the next year. I was a year younger playing as a 14-year- old with 15-year-olds, and the next year I moved up to a 2s team for my 16th year. We decided as a family to switch clubs, and at the [new] club I made the 1s team this past year.”
While playing on South’s varsity volleyball team, Jada Divita took extra steps to develop her skills according to varsity volleyball player Ellie Groustra ’22. She said Divita works out outside of volleyball and does private training with club coaches, while still focusing on being the best leader possible for her team and maintaining team camaraderie.
“She binds our team at times,” Groustra said. “She’s a true leader, and she always knows what to say after every point.”
Though volleyball has brought her joy, Jada Divita said she has made many sacrifices for the sport and has even considered quitting. Fitting schoolwork into her schedule is difficult, but volleyball obligations have helped teach her about time management according to Jada Divita. She said she has also found it challenging to continue to spend time with separate groups of friends with practices every day and tournaments on the weekends.
“You feel like you’re a bit along because you have these two different groups of people,” Jada Divita said. “I’ve got my school friends and my volleyball friends, and I can’t always be with the groups at the same time. There’s social pressure of fitting in and having that stable group of friends at school.”
Janeil Divita said she believes her daughter’s character played a role in her recruitment to many colleges along with her strength and physicality on the court. She said these team support skills and confidence while playing has allowed her to succeed so far and will continue to bring her forward as she moves through her college career.
“I really admire her ability to control her emotions and keep pushing forward even when things aren’t going well on the court,” Janeil Divita said. “And off the court, she’s just a good-hearted person. She’s inclusive, and she loves her teammates as her family.”