ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jessi Meghreblian understood how tough beach volleyball is before arriving at Eckerd College.
The Tennessee native has dealt with numerus injuries in her career leading up to this season with the Tritons.
“Yes, I’ve gotten a concussion, almost fractured by back, broke my thumb and have knee problems,” said the Eckerd College freshman, after a sunny early morning practice last week.
Those injuries did not stop her from pursuing volleyball, although one almost put her out in the biggest game of her career. She suffered a concussion which was a significant loss for her team, heading into the state championships for her high school, Battle Ground Academy, in Franklin.
“My gosh, So, the funny story about that is I got my concussion a week before her team’s state championship finals,” she said. “I was not supposed to be playing.”
Meghreblian served the game winning point to lead BGA’s women’s indoor volleyball team to its first-ever state championship.
The high school state champion was cleared to play one day before the final match.
A majority of the injuries were sustained from playing indoor volleyball because of the differences in surfaces and the stress on the body when diving for blocks.
“The sand is a lot more lenient with your body, so less injuries,” she said.
Moving from Tennessee to the deep south presented its own challenges.
“The wind and the heat is very different from back home,” she said. “But it’s just different here in Florida.”
The beach volleyball team practices normally start around noon which is when the sun is at its strongest, heating the sand up when practicing.
Meghreblian also pointed to the wind being “a lot crazier” as its so close to the water.
As of this writing she has a individual record of 2-3 with the Tritons this season.