Scarborough athlete spike in achievement

A homegrown athlete is named athlete of the week and has another title added to her already long list of achievements.

Scarborough native Jennifer Cross, 20, was named Big Ten’s athlete of the week for October 15. The Michigan university volleyball mid-blocker averaged 3.67 kills and 1.67 blocks per set last week, which helped her win the Big Ten award.

While it is an individual award, Cross acknowledges she couldn’t have done it on her own.

“It was amazing! I was so honoured that I would even be considered,” Cross said. “But it really was a team award, without my team playing as well as they did, I would have never even able do what I did.”

Cross, a kinesiology student, started playing volleyball in Grade 3, but didn’t begin playing club volleyball until five years later. Busy with playing soccer and hockey, Cross decided that volleyball was a good fit for her when she came across a group of girls at middle school who played the game. After watching the girls at school playing volleyball, Cross admits she instantly fell in love with the sport.

Cross says her family loves competition and she was raised to be a competitive athlete. She enjoys being part of a team and says her favourite thing about volleyball is, “the interaction with my teammates and being able to compete every single day.”

Cross also won the Freshman of the Week award from Big Ten in 2010 and was recently named to the all-tournament team at the Coke/Michigan Invitational this past September.

A graduate of Birchmount Park Collegiate, Cross won numerous athletic awards, including Birchmount Outstanding Female Athlete in 2009 and three-time Female Athlete of the Year from years 2007-2009.

After all of Cross’s success, her preparation for every game has never changed and helps her get into game mode.

“I always have to have a nap before a game no matter what, even if it is for 10 minutes,” Cross said.