Aug 21, 2013
Camila Jersonsky says her final Auburn volleyball team could be her best
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - Camila Jersonsky knew nothing of Auburn back in 2009. How would she have known? She had grown up in the sprawling city of Buenos Aires on the west coast of Argentina, almost 5,000 miles away.
But fate and volleyball would bring Jersonsky and the school from far away that would become her own together.
A standout club volleyball player in her country, Jersonsky was in Miami to play in a tournament. Auburn coaches were scouting another player in another tournament.
"They just happened to be there watching the same game as I was," says Jersonsky, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker. "That's when I met them, and we started sending emails back and forth. I was talking to the University of New Mexico because I have a friend there. Then I came on my official visit, and I just loved it."
Jersonsky signed with Auburn and enrolled in the summer of 2010. It is a decision that has paid off for her and for Auburn volleyball. As a freshman in 2010, she helped the Tigers advance to their first NCAA Tournament. And as she approaches her senior season, she is a preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection, one of just three from the West Division.
Off the court, Jersonsky has been as successful as she has been on the court. She will graduate next year with a double major in polymer and fiber engineering and electrical engineering.
It's been an adventure that she says will be with her for a lifetime.
"I like the big city, but it's exhausting," Jersonsky says. "People are going crazy, always in a rush, always late. Going from one spot to another takes a half an hour at least. When I was going for practice, from my house to my club team was a 1½ -hour bus ride. It took forever. There is a lot of craziness, plus it's kind of dangerous. Here, it's completely opposite, 100 percent."
A second-team All-SEC selection last season, Jersonsky has already made her place in the Auburn record book. She enters the 2013 season as Auburn's all-time leader in attack percentage (.356), recording 592 kills on 1,223 attacks with just 157 errors in her career.
Last season, Jersonsky ranked No. 3 on the team and No. 5 in the league with 269 kills and a .356 hitting percentage. She was the key to the Tigers' defense with 119 blocks, ranking No. 5 in the SEC. She posted the ninth-most single-season blocks in Auburn history.
Third-year Auburn coach Rick Nold had nothing to do with recruiting Jersonsky, but he says her value to his third Auburn volleyball team is significant on and off the court.
"She's a big part of what we do offensively and defensively in the middle," Nold says. "We try to run a lot of stuff through her. Off the court, look at everything she's doing, double majoring in two different types of engineering. Doing that as well as being a foreign student-athlete is pretty tough. It's a great accomplishment."
Jersonsky says she has not regretted, even for a day, her decision.
"I love the place," Jersonsky says. "I love that people are all nice to each other. There are no rude people. When you go into a store, people are really nice to you. Waitresses, people in general, are nice to you. It's really clean. Cities can be really dirty. People are really excited about the university teams. They go support their athletes."
And it's not over.
The Tigers open their season on Aug. 30 against host St. Louis in the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic.
"I think we are going to be good," Jersonsky says. "My freshman year we went to NCAA's, then we had change of staff and it was really different from what we were used to. We were getting used to the coaches and they were getting used to us. Last year was a lot better. We were really close to making it to nationals again. This year is going to be better. I'm excited."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: