By Don Lowe
Carl Junction Lady Bulldogs standout junior volleyball setter Logan ‘Lo’ Jones has already accomplished a great deal of success in a career that has spanned more than a decade.
Jones, who is ranked as the 69th best player nationally by Prep Volleyball and is rated as Missouri’s number three ranked player by Prep Dig, has already verbally committed to continue playing volleyball collegiately for Head Coach Jason Watson’s Arkansas Razorbacks in 2023.
Jones is incredibly passionate about this sport, and she emphasizes, “I love volleyball for so many reasons. It’s one of the most team-dependent sports. It requires you to push beyond what’s comfortable to establish perfect chemistry on and off the court.
“I love the fact that I’ve made friends all over the country. At these huge national qualifier tournaments, I get to catch up with friends and coaches whom I love. I will always treasure memories of the places that volleyball has taken me and the people I’ve connected with through this sport.
“I love that volleyball is such a finesse sport. High-level players spend countless hours in the gym, perfecting their craft. We pour physical and mental strength into it, to create accuracy, consistency and skill.”
In considering attributes that have helped her, Jones says, “I’m a leader, which is perfect as a setter. Setters are usually referred to as ‘the quarterback of the volleyball team.’ I’m also empathetic, allowing me to connect with my teammates and work through tough situations.
“I’m uber-competitive, which any high-level athlete must be, but patient enough to help my teammates when they aren’t playing at their best. And, I’m experienced and know the game so well because I’ve been taught by such knowledgeable coaches, which gives my teammates reason to trust me in those high-pressure situations.
“Like with anything else, getting better at those intangible skills takes practice. I get better by working at it and really focusing on improving. After competitions, I spend time evaluating my decision-making, my interactions with others and my overall performance.”
As for challenges, Jones asserts, “Advanced setting requires an elite volleyball IQ. Besides the fact that the team’s success usually hinges on your physical performance, you must be mentally aware at all times of what’s happening on the court.
“You run your offense depending on your game plan and the ever-adjusting offenses/defenses of your opponent. It requires having enough foresight to see the consequences of each play you call and understanding where each hitter’s mind is at the moment.”
No matter the challenges, good things have happened for Jones. “You must be willing to sacrifice. I’ve sacrificed countless hours, and it’s paid off.”
Jones has plenty of reason to be ecstatic about her achievements. “I’m proud of how I have approached challenges as they have presented themselves. I go where God takes me through volleyball, even if it’s not what I expected.”
Carl Junction Junior Volleyball Star Logan ‘Lo’ Jones Fast Facts
Parents: Ryan & Kristy Jones (Ryan Jones is currently Carl Junction Boys’ Golf Head Coach and teaches physical science. Kristy Jones is Lady Bulldogs Volleyball Assistant Coach and counselor at CJHS)
Favorite Subject: Math
Favorite Sports Movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite Pro Volleyball Players: Lori Endicott-Vandersnick, former USA Olympian, and pro player. Also, Evgeniya (Jenny) Lingenfelter, former Arkansas Razorbacks setter and assistant coach who also played for the Bulgarian Junior National Team and won three national championships
Volleyball History: Jones started playing on local teams at 5 years old and began playing on club teams when she was 8 years old. Jones’ mom, who was a setter in college, coached all her teams until she was 12 years old. During her first three years of higher-level competitive club volleyball, Jones traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas (Ozark Juniors’ Volleyball Club, 13–15-year-olds). She joined the Kansas City MAVS program with the 16-U and 17-U teams coached by Beau Barnthson the past couple of years.
Education: Jones carries a 4.0 unweighted GPA with a 33 composite ACT and is taking college preparatory and dual-credit college courses. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in dietetics with the possibility of pharmacy school after she finishes her volleyball career.
See more photos in the June 2022 issue of Show Me the Ozarks Magazine.