The end of the 2019 season for Rutherford marked the end of an era.
The squad that will hit the court in 2020 will be the first since 2011 to not feature a member of the Rogers family.
While Jessica Rogers had a legendary career of her own, sister Jenna ended her career with her name scattered throughout the history books.
In a senior season that included a second trip to the Group 2 final in as many years, Rogers entrenched herself as arguably the best player in the program’s history on a team with no club volleyball players.
“The fact that she was able to lead at a high pace, she wouldn’t let anybody down,” said Rutherford coach Helen Antzoulides. “I keep telling her she was the best one and she would never believe me.”
Rogers finished second in the state in kills with 471. That total set a single-season program record. She also made program history with the most kills and digs over the course of her career and the team overall set a record with 31 wins on the season.
It would also be a rarity for Rogers to not touch a ball at any point during play. She was a six-rotation server, the team’s assist leader and was one of the team’s best passers. Not to mention the offense ran through her and she was typically the only blocker going up at the net against the other team’s best hitters.
As always, she’s quick to deflect the attention to her teammates.
“We’re a really athletic group,” she said. “When we’ve been playing other sports since we were five years old it’s easy to mesh into a different sport and play together. If you like the people you’re playing with it’ll be easy to win games and that’s what happened to us.”
While she’s always had an affinity for volleyball, track and specifically the high jump became more of a focus.
Winning a national title in your freshman year will do that.
Volleyball always remained important to Rogers and it provided a perfect opportunity to settle down and have fun for a few months.
“I like volleyball as a little break from that,” she said. “It’s an intense amount of training and focusing. Volleyball is my favorite part of the year because you have fun and don’t stress about winning and things like that. Even with that, we won an incredible amount.”
Still, track eventually won out as her passion for it outweighed volleyball. Rogers would rather play volleyball for fun and have it as stress-free as possible.
She will now take her talent into Big Ten country and join the University of Nebraska.
“I feel so blessed,” she said. “Not many people have that opportunity so I’m super excited to work with my coach and move on to a crazy athletic and academic school.”