Jacob VanOoyen Lives, Breathes, Plays and Manages Volleyball

Jacob VanOoyen Lives, Breathes, Plays and Manages Volleyball

Violet Korpal, Cassi Garrison, Staff Writers, Journalism I

The Journalism I class interviewed one of NDA’s very involved juniors.  Here are a couple of the stories written by members of the class.

Jacob VanOoyen, baker, student government activist, and volleyball player, is at the heart of many of Notre Dame Academy’s foremost clubs and organizations.

VanOoyen plays varsity volleyball, serves on NDA’s student life/curriculum board, contributes to the Yearbook, and somehow finds time to manage his cake-baking Instagram page.

“I always knew I wanted to have a higher role at school than just ‘student,’” VanOoyen shared.

Despite many extracurriculars, VanOoyen is able to simultaneously coach two volleyball teams, work at a nursing home and keep track of his school assignments.

Looking back, VanOoyen said that he “did not see playing as a possibility” for himself, until Mrs. VanDyke, an “intimidating” middle school coach, told him that he was one of the best players in the school and needed to be on the volleyball team.

Though he had not played in middle school, he gave it a shot at NDA, and has been playing ever since.

He would like to see volleyball factor somehow into his future.

 “I hope that [the boys varsity team] will continue,” he said. “We’re losing eight seniors this year, and only have eleven kids on the team.”

And on top of all this, he was integral to the planning of The Great Battle, and his scheduling could be pretty intense.

“We had a lot of night meetings. Sometimes we would be here until eight o’clock,” VanOoyen shared.

To handle all of this seems a great feat; all could learn something from VanOoyen’s time management skills.

–Cassie Garrison

Jacob VanOoyen, a junior here at Notre Dame Academy, has been part of the boys varsity volleyball team since freshman year when he tried out with only gym-class experience. 

It all started when his “intimidating” gym teacher, as VanOoyen would describe her, called him over during class to tell him he should try out for the volleyball team because he was the best in his class at the time.

He listened to her and ended up making varsity freshman year.

He always loved watching the volleyball players on TV but never expected before high school to be actually playing. 

His entire life now revolves around volleyball–from coaching a middle school team, to being the manager of the girls varsity team and living out his own club-game schedules. 

The balance between school, work  and volleyball can be extremely stressful for him, but he finds ways to make it work or find a way for it to work. 

“When I’m off season for NDA volleyball, I play club volleyball and beach volleyball the rest of the year,” he said.

He also is the manager of the varsity girls volleyball team. 

He loves being in the atmosphere of the girls varsity team but sometimes just wants to play the game with them. 

“ Jacob is so funny. He is not only our team manager but he is like a brother to me. He is there for me every time I need help. He gets along with everyone and makes sure that we are all having a good time. He is one of the nicest people that I have ever met, and I wouldn’t want anyone else as my team manager,” said Maddie Wolfram, a freshman on the varsity team.

He definitely sees playing college volleyball in his future and is already talking to some colleges. 

Volleyball  is such a big part of his life now that it is going to be hard to not have it in his life. 

     –Violet Korpal