Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Latrobe’s Giovanna Jones

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Monday, November 7, 2022 | 12:35 PM


Latrobe’s volleyball team made the move from Class 4A to 3A before the beginning of the season.

At their previous level, they hadn’t advanced past the WPIAL quarterfinal round. This season, they went 12-0 in section play and defeated Franklin Regional in the first round to reach the quarterfinals.

Senior libero Giovanna Jones talked about how the change in level affected the mindset of the team.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t.

“I feel like 3A or 4A, we would’ve been able to stand up to the competition,” Jones said.

Jones was not a starter on last year’s team, but this year she was voted one of the team’s captains by her teammates.

Jones does not take the honor lightly, along with her role of libero.

“Getting voted as captain, you really realize how essential everyone on the team is,” Jones said. “It’s a huge honor, and it’s great to know my peers think of me as a leader.”

The composition of Latrobe’s team this season shows why the Wildcats have been so dominant. Among others, they’re led by Notre Dame commit Lily Fenton and Emma Blair and Paige Watson, who both stand over 6-feet tall.

As a more defensive player, Jones described her specific role.

“Defense, even in other sports, gets forgotten sometimes,” Jones said. “It’s really rewarding when you get a perfect pass, and Lily gets a beautiful set and one of our hitters like Emma or Paige put it down.”

Jones also does a lot of extracurriculars, such as National Honor Society, Global Scholars Club, Mu Alpha Theta and Science National Honors Society, and she is co-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.

Jones plans on attending college for nursing, and she wants to be in oncology or pediatric oncology when she graduates. She has not yet decided on a school.

As her season winds down, Jones took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

How did you get started with volleyball?

I went to school at (Christ the Divine Teacher) in Latrobe. I was lucky enough to start volleyball super young. I started in third grade, and we had a team for each grade that we got to play on. That’s actually where I met Lily Fenton. I’ve played with her since.

What’s your biggest strength?

I think my biggest strength is serving. I guess that’s not even related to defense, but serving has been something that every year in volleyball is so consistent for me. I know in high-pressure situations when I get put in to serve and it’s game point, I know my serve’s going to go over. I’ve always had this feeling that it’s super embarrassing to miss serves, so I just hate missing serves. But I feel like that’s one of my strongest points.

Is there an area where you feel like you could improve?

I feel like an area that I could improve on is being more communicative with my front row people. So sometimes I struggle with that aspect that I don’t want to sound like I’m being mean or demanding. Our blockers and our pairs need so much more help than people even realize when they’re watching the game go on. A nice thing for our hitters is for me to communicate with them, what spots are open on the other side of the court for them to hit, if they can tip it or if they should go full swing.

Is there one memory from your high school career that sticks out?

There’s a lot, but one specific one is from my freshman year. We had a pretty big team, there was a big senior class. There were nine of them that year. We had a lot of freshmen in my class coming up, and we struggled to fit on the bus sometimes. Emma Blair’s pretty tall. She’s always been pretty tall. On the way home from practice, Emma Blair wanted to sit down in her seat, so we all laid across the seats. That was our way of getting sleep on our two hour bus ride from Laurel.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

My mom works in the health care field, so I have a lot of background from her. She’s a big inspiration on that level. In the past years, I’ve had a lot of family health scares. In 2015, my aunt passed away from metastatic breast cancer. She had it for seven years. It was super hard to watch her go through that. We would travel to Philadelphia to visit her in the hospital, and she had the best nurses ever. They were such an inspiration, and it just made everything super positive for her.

After she passed away, in the past year, her son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s my cousin. He’s only 18. It’s super difficult to watch someone you love go through that kind of thing. But I also feel like that’s what would make me such a good fit to be an oncology nurse, because I’ve watched my family members go through it. I’ve been there for them through that time. It’s something that I think I could be for someone else in that positive mindset.

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