Volleyball: Briar Woods Senior Jasmine Ellison Elects to Stay Local, Commits to D1 American

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Jasmine Ellison (left), Riley Garrison (center) and Lauren Twitty (right) have all made commitments to continue their volleyball careers in college.

By Owen Gotimer
LoCoSports Editor-in-Chief
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*Update (11/17/2015): Briar Woods High School senior Jasmine Ellison has officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at American University.

Ashburn (August 11, 2015) — Briar Woods High School senior Jasmine Ellison has made a commitment to continue her volleyball career at American University starting in the 2016-2017 school year.

“After I accepted the offer, I felt such a sense of relief and happiness because American had every aspect that I was looking for,” the 5-foot-11 Ellison said. “I also felt excited because I knew that the hard work was just about to begin. I felt proud to be able to say that I was going to soon be an Eagle. My recruiting experience was fun, and I enjoyed every part of it.”

Ellison’s recruiting experience at American began in April 2015 when she visited the Washington, D.C.-based school after deciding she wanted to stay close to Loudoun after high school.

“I had five wish list items: close to home, academics, great coaching staff, competitive volleyball and family environment,” said Ellison who was born in Arlington. “I’d visited several colleges, but American had all five pieces, so I knew that American University was the place I wanted to be.”

But when she first arrived on campus, American head coach Barry Goldberg did not immediately offer the LoCoSports All-LoCo, VHSL 5A all-state, 5A North region and Conference 14 first teamer a spot in his program.

“I had to patiently wait because the coaches had only seen glimpses of me throughout the years, so they wanted to see me play ‘live’ at a tournament,” Ellison said. “After attending camp this summer, coach Goldberg officially offered me a position on the team. I accepted the offer immediately.”

In 2014, the Division I Eagles finished 26-7 including a 15-1 record in the Patriot League winning the conference title before falling to Dayton in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

AU opens up its 2015 slate on August 28 at 7 p.m. at home against Howard University in the D.C. Volleyball Challenge.

“My goal is to work hard, get better every day with my teammates, help American win another Patriot League championship and make it to the NCAA tournament once again,” said Ellison who will play outside hitter for the Eagles.

While American was unable to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament, Briar Woods persevered throughout the Conference 14 regular season and the Conference 14, VHSL 5A North region and VHSL 5A state postseason having to battle Ashburn-rival Stone Bridge time and time again.

When all was said and done, the Falcons came out victorious defeating Princess Anne in the VHSL 5A state championship match.

Briar Woods opens up its 2015 slate on August 27 at 7 p.m. on the road against T.C. Williams in Alexandria.

“I expect for our team to be back-to-back state champions, but I know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work and time in the gym. We have a lot of potential and a lot of focused players,” said Ellison who plays club for Virginia Elite. “We need to be able to work together as a team. There are a lot of new players and being able to bond as a team will be displayed on the court. Our coaches are pushing us harder than ever, and I think they have the same goal as we do:  to be state champs again.”

With hopes of a second high school state title and college national tournament in her future, Ellison noted that without a start in the sport she loves, she would never be where she is today.

“It’s my home away from home, and a lot of times it’s where I go to get away from stress. I am very thankful for my mom and dad for supporting me since I first started playing club,” Ellison said. “They put in as many hours as I have. Whether it be waking up early on the weekends to take me to private lessons or working hard at their jobs so I could play elite level club volleyball and travel around the country, they played a huge part in me committing, made it so I can play the game I love to play and never gave up on me throughout the entire process.”

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