COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As Jamestown Community College volleyball coach Ashley Lund tells it, the Jayhawks had had their eye on Christina Rauh for quite some time.
Given her talent, however, the biggest question was, 'Would she choose to play at JCC?'''
"I got really excited about her way back," Lund recalled, "because her sister, Libbi, played for me and I got to know Christina that way. I was really excited about the possibility of her coming to JCC, but with her talent, I didn't think we would be her first choice."
Christina Rauh, a Panama graduate and a Jamestown Community College freshman, was named the NJCAA Division III Player of the Week.
P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli
As it turns out, Lund's team was.
Rauh, a Panama Central School graduate who was a two-time Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 4 Most Valuable Player and last year a New York State Class D third-team choice, joined Lund, and seven other teammates on the JCC volleyball team at the beginning of this year and, thus far, it's been a fruitful partnership.
In addition to leading JCC to wins in 16 of 21 matches overall and 11 of 12 in conference play, Rauh was recognized nationwide recently when she was named the NJCAA Division III player of the week for matches that occurred between Sept. 10-16.
Over that span, the Jayhawks freshman put her full repertoire of skills on display, leading the Jayhawks to a 4-1 record behind three double-doubles and a triple-double.
"In her three-set win over Hudson Valley," the NJCAA Player of the Week capsule states, "(Rauh) displayed her versatility with 15 digs, 17 assists and 12 aces from the serve. Rauh's serve was on target all week as she averaged 1.69 aces per set."
The last time Lund recalls one of her players earning national accolades of this sort was in 2009 for standout Kari Barmore, who that year was also an NJCAA All-American and an all-Region 3 Division III first-team selection.
It's that aforementioned versatility that has Rauh dominating on the court.
"She can run all aspects of the game," Lund said. "She can serve, she can pass, she can set, she can hit. It's never ending. And that's especially dangerous for our opponents, because they never know what she's going to do."
It's been that way since high school.
"That's pretty impressive," Panama coach Deb Palmer said of the award. "I heard she's been having some great matches. She did it here, though. It's just a continuation."
And don't expect that outstanding production to slow anytime soon.
"She makes all the plays," Lund said. "She's a competitor, she's intense and she knows what it takes to win. She's been consistent all season with what she's doing on the court. I'm not surprised. She's been doing a fantastic job."