Jesse Larkin named NJAC Rookie of the Year

Freshman standout Jesse Larkin hitting the ball over the net. Credit: Larry Levanti

Freshman standout Jesse Larkin hitting the ball over the net. Credit: Larry Levanti

By: Craig Epstein | Published Dec. 12, 2016

For the second year in a row, a Kean University women’s volleyball player received the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year award.

Jesse Larkin, a native of California and freshman, finished the season second in the league with a .333 hitting percentage and averaged 1.01 blocks per set. She is one of only three NJAC players to average over one block per set. Both marks are tops among all NJAC rookies.

The standout freshman earned multiple awards over the course of the season, including NJAC Rookie of the Week three times, honorable mention All-NJAC selection.

“Being a Freshman from California, this means a lot to me,” Larkin told The Tower. “But I couldn’t have done this without my players, coaches and parents.”

Traveling across the country and acclimating to a new life is not an easy process. Larkin credits her team as helping her adjust.

“My teammates welcomed me in with open arms,” Larkin said. “Without them, none of this could be possible.”

Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Don Perkins had nothing but praise for Larkins.

“Jesse is smart and a steady player and we couldn’t be more excited to have her on the team for the next few years,” Perkins said in a press release. “Other teams had to pay attention to her and she came out on top on most nights.”

The 2016 Kean Women's Volleyball Team. Credit: Larry Levanti

The 2016 Kean Women’s Volleyball Team. Credit: Larry Levanti

At the close of the 2016 season, the Kean Women’s Volleyball Team finished with a 21-12 overall record. To go along with their winning record, the Cougars finished the regular season in fourth place in the NJAC. The team also made it to the NJAC semifinals before losing to top-seeded Ramapo College.

Larkin elaborated on what she hopes to accomplish going forward in her career.

“Going forward, winning win the NJAC would mean a lot to both me and the team,” Larkin said. “I also hope to keep playing at a high level and improving everyday.”

This marks the second-straight year that a Kean Cougar has taken home the NJAC Rookie of the Year award. Last season, it was current sophomore, Brett Harper, that earned the honor.

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