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The Journey of Being an Aggie to a Sun Devil: A Look into Claire Jeter’s Volleyball Career

Jeter was originally playing at Texas A&M, her dream school, but made the decision to transfer and become a Sun Devil


“I knew I always wanted to be a D1 athlete," Jeter said. "I knew as soon as I switched to volleyball that I was going to take it seriously..."

Claire Jeter dreamt of one thing: becoming an Aggie at Texas A&M University. Jeter got that opportunity and played volleyball at her dream school. But after one season, she decided to transfer to ASU and found a family she didn't have at A&M.

Texas is notoriously serious about high school sports. Sports within the state are competitive and highly spirited. Volleyball is no different. Across the board, several athletes have committed to furthering their volleyball careers.

Jeter’s athletic journey began with a different sport: softball. She played it until she was 8 years old, until, like her mom, switched to volleyball full-time because her family felt she was better at it. Throughout the process, she always aspired to play Division 1 at Texas A&M.

“I knew I always wanted to be a D1 athlete," Jeter said. "I knew as soon as I switched to volleyball that I was going to take it seriously enough and create a situation where I could be a D1 athlete and get a scholarship. I knew from the jump that I wanted to do that."

Her love and drive for volleyball grew as college offers began to arrive. As she stepped into her mother’s footsteps, she got even closer to her athletic dreams. 

“If you're from Texas, a lot of people think that it’s their dream school,” said Jeter, now middle blocker on the ASU volleyball team. “I was raised an Aggie. It has always been my dream school, and the fact that I got to go there was awesome, but I am very happy with where I am now.”

Not only were Jeter’s athletic goals coming to life as she was talking with A&M about a volleyball commitment, but many other coaches were also interested in Jeter, especially ASU head coach Sanja Tomasevic. 

Tomasevic was named the ASU volleyball head coach in 2016 and previously coached at the University of Miami and the University of Texas-San Antonio. Before coaching, Tomasevic played eight years of professional volleyball. 

“I recruited her out of high school first, when she was in eighth grade or freshman,” Tomasevic said. “At that time, I was the assistant coach of ASU. I continued building a relationship with her.”

As Jeter talked to different schools about a possible volleyball position and developed relationships with coaches, she still felt that A&M was her dream school.

“One day, she called me and said that she committed to her dream school she had since she was 4 years old. I was like, ‘Awesome, congratulations.' She was super nervous to tell me. We always want the kids to get to their dream schools, and we hope it's ASU, but if not, it's where ever it is,” Tomasevic said. 

Jeter signed with A&M during her sophomore year of high school. The rest of Jeter's high school volleyball career was impressive. She started as a middle blocker all four high school years, leading her team to two state championships. Jeter was on the All-State team in her junior year. She was also placed on the Under Armour All-American second team her senior year.

She later played one season at A&M before entering the transfer portal in April after the season. Coach Tomasevic was one of the first to contact her during the fast transfer process.

“I knew her, and I really enjoyed talking to her," Jeter said. "I thought we had a lot in common, as our personalities meshed well. I liked what she did with this team and the traditions. I just liked the girls on the team as well."

Jeter did not consider any other school after Tomasevic expressed interest. Before this decision, Jeter had other plans. Her future school might not have been ASU due to regional eligibility regulations.

The SEC conference has an eligibility rule in place where students can transfer to another school within the conference to participate in athletics but have to sit out for one full year. After the year of ineligibility, the student can play their desired sport.

“I kind of wanted to stay in the SEC because I like the south, but the rule was not passed yet that I could play only one year," Jeter said. "I would have had to take a year off and didn’t want to do that. I immediately started talking to ASU and cut everyone else out." 

Jeter took a week to commit to ASU after being in the transfer portal. However, not all transfer stories are as quick and straightforward as Jeter’s. Jaden Ravnsborg, a transfer player from Kansas State University, had a different journey. 

“My transfer experience was kind of unique here. Andi, my old club teammate, reached out and put in a really good word for me,” said Ravnsborg, a sophomore libero. “I did email as well. After that, they emailed me back, and we got on a Zoom call. It just progressed from there, and I fell in love with it and the whole culture here.”

Both players have similar reasons for transferring from their previous school and staying at ASU. Primarily, their relationship with ASU's coaches tipped the scales. The team welcomed Jeter and Ravnsborg with open arms.

“I mesh really well with these coaches. The team is really a big family," Jeter said. "This is one of the first teams I found that on. I feel like a lot of teams had girls that argued and bickered, and I felt like at A&M, that's how it was,” Jeter said. 

Although Jeter’s regional-born aspirations of playing Division 1 Volleyball at Texas A&M came true, the coaching and family nature of the Sun Devils called her to ASU. Jeter has created a name for herself on the volleyball roster. After being on the team for two years, Jeter has played in 209 sets, earned 391 kills and received 119 digs. 

Jeter is finishing her junior year with her fellow Sun Devils. Even though she transferred from her "dream school," Jeter found a new home in Tempe and an even closer family.

Edited by Walker Smith, Wyatt Myskow and Kristen Apolline Castillo.

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