Older players show competitiveness at Columbia College alumna volleyball game

Saturday, October 1, 2011 | 7:49 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The ball is sinking fast and appears like it will hit the floor. But then Jamie Nelson dives in to save it.

It's difficult to tell Nelson is eight years removed from college and is married and has two children. She still moves around the volleyball court with speed and agility.

Nelson (Dieselkamp during her playing days) played in the Columbia College alumna game Saturday in a match that put current players against the former players as part of Family Day and Homecoming weekend for Columbia College.

“It’s kind of bragging rights,” Nelson said. “It’s kind of good to say, 'Hey, like we are still kind of good, and we still play.'”

Nelson and the former players beat the current players for the second year in a row. Ever since she graduated, Nelson, an NAIA national champion with the Cougars in 2001, said it has been hard to adjust to the lack of competition.

Nelson still plays a few times a week and got involved as a coach at Hickman High School and most recently in Ashland, but her main form of exercise these days is taking care of her children, who are ages 1 and 3.

“They are all my time pretty much,” Nelson said with a laugh.

Nelson admits that she feels old coming to the Southwell Complex with her family, rather than as a young player.

“It definitely shows your age when you come, and you hear someone in the crowd, and you’re looking to see if it’s your kid or someone else’s, so it’s definitely a change,” Nelson said.

Nelson enjoys coming back to see her old teammates and coach, especially now that many of the players have children.

“Mommy, Mommy,” shouts Nelson’s son. She picks him up and rejoins a group of Cougars players past and present in a discussion of their love of the game.

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