HARKER HEIGHTS — For her first three years as a member of the Harker Heights volleyball team Jordan Denney was often referred to as “Taylor’s little sister” by head coach Chris Wiley.
But it wasn’t until this past season that the versatile senior libero emerged from big sister’s shadow and forged her own path on the court, eventually earning acknowledgement as simply “Jordan.”
“After (Taylor) left, she left behind a legacy, but not playing the same position as her, it kind of (gave me the opportunity) where I could step in and make (my own) legacy for the people behind me to step into,” Denney said of her sister, Taylor, who graduated in 2010 after several years as the team’s top setter.
Denney took her next step in making her own name when she signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Cisco College during a ceremony Wednesday morning inside the Harker Heights gymnasium.
“It’s really overwhelming. I was crying earlier because it’s really powerful,” Denney said. “I’m really excited but I’m also really nervous because I don’t know what to expect, but this is a really good opportunity and I’m really happy that I get to experience.”
Nerves aside, Denney believes always trying to prove herself in light of her older sister’s achievements has only helped her grow stronger and build a powerful legacy in her own right.
“It’s kind of scary because I don’t know where I’m going, and I’m just kind of walking out into somewhere I don’t know,” Denney said. “But at the same time I have the confidence to know that I’m strong enough to get through this and even if it’s rough I can pave it out for the people behind me.”
Playing mostly back row for the Lady Knights this season, Denney racked up a team-high 328 digs while showing her range by contributing in other roles throughout the rotation as Heights (35-7) reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and was the District 8-5A runner-up. Denney was also a first-team all-district selection.
“I definitely feel like I did make (volleyball) my own, I wanted the team to be as strong and have as much heart as I did in every thing that I played, and so I was somewhat of a (quiet) leader, and led the team more underneath the table, more so than telling them what to do,” Denney said. “I feel like that was my thing that I did on the court, that’s what I left behind — I had that energy, that motivation, that leadership to keep the team going.”