College volleyball: Former Brighton standout drives SLCC to playoffs
Jaclyn Condie didn't have a clue about what she wanted next as she approached the end of her senior year at Brighton High School.
Salt Lake Community College women's volleyball coach Sue Dulaney knew exactly what she wanted, until she saw Condie on the court.
"Actually, I was out watching another libero," said Dulaney, now in her fifth season at SLCC. "I was ready to offer her something. When I went out there â¦ I started watching the other libero, which was Jac. I liked her movements better. I like that she was always talking, always moving, backing up her players.
"And she had a great serve."
Dulaney's desire to add Condie to the Bruins' roster intensified when Condie's volleyball club team, High Country, upset the favorite and qualified for junior nationals.
Dulaney eventually offered, and Condie accepted, a scholarship to SLCC, known nationally as one of the top JC women's volleyball schools.
SLCC's tough-minded and scrappy freshman libero Dulaney calls Condie her "Honey Badger" played a large role in the No. 5-ranked Bruins (22-7, 7-2 SWAC) clinching the No. 2 seed in the Region 18 Volleyball Championships, hosted by College of Southern Idaho on Nov. 2 and 3 in Twin Falls, Idaho.
With the playoffs looming, Salt Lake finishes the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday against in-state rival Snow College. Dulaney's teams have finished fourth at NJCAA National Tournament twice in the past three years.
Condie is fearless as the Bruins' defensive specialist, either diving to the floor or putting herself in harm's way to return a thunderous spike.
"This is a lot different than high school," the 5-foot-7 native of Cottonwood Heights said. "High school is serious but not serious. We just won. Here it is way more serious. College volleyball is about winning."
At this level, it is also about getting noticed, and that's where going beyond the regionals to the national tournament is so important to the Division I coaches who attend the finals in droves. SLCC has qualified eight consecutive seasons.
"[Players] don't understand that at first," Dulaney said.
Condie also was a solid softball player at Brighton, but she didn't appear to understand herself. She loved volleyball, but did she want to play anymore? She even toyed with the idea of taking classes at Utah State, "just for fun."
"I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know what was right for me," Condie said. "I got a few offers, then my dad [Bryan] said something like, 'How about Salt Lake?' "
That focus now is a bit clearer. Condie likes the medical field, specifically nursing.
There also might be an LDS Church mission.
"I have a lot of different ideas," Condie said. "I love helping other people. I love learning about anything to do with the human body."