Enjoying her time in the spotlight

December 26, 2002

Erik Boal

The move wasn't made with the intent to motivate Jillian Davis.

But Nancy Tinkham's decision not to start the outside hitter in

her first career volleyball match at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

wound up being one of the best coaching moves in Tinkham's

illustrious eight-year tenure.

Because once Tinkham inserted Davis into the lineup in the second


game of the Tologs' annual showdown with intracity rival La Canada,

she rarely ever came out.

Not during the remainder of that match, when she had 11 kills in

Flintridge Sacred Heart's five-game win.

Not during the rest of her breakout sophomore year, which was

highlighted by a 21-kill, 23-dig performance against Cerritos Whitney

in the CIF Southern Section Division IVAA quarterfinals.

Not during her phenomenal junior campaign, when she amassed 174

kills, 205 digs and 40 aces.

And especially not during her record-setting senior season.

Initially thought to be on the verge of even making the Tologs'

varsity roster in 2000 -- before joining fellow sophomore Kacey Knauf

-- Davis let nothing stand in her way of conquering the first of many

challenges during her brilliant career.

And it wasn't too long before Tinkham realized that among the

plethora of individuals who had excelled on the court during her

tenure, that Davis would ultimately wind up as one of the best who

ever played up the hill.

Because in an era where attributes such as "competitive spirit"

are falsely bestowed upon too many student-athletes, Davis was a

competitor in every sense of the word.

And it was that overwhelming desire to succeed, combined with her

outstanding leadership skills, unselfish attitude and amazing

physical talents that not only made Davis the most charismatic player

on the area's most captivating team, but also earned her the honor of

being selected as the 2002 News-Press All-Area Player of the Year by

the writers and editors of the News-Press and Burbank Leader.

"I liked being the underdog," said Davis, who joined former Tolog

greats Holly Doran (1996), Danielle Dal Ponte (1997), Megan Hosp

(1998) and Kerry O'Keefe (2001) as All-Area Player of the Year


"After I didn't start against La Canada, I always pushed myself

to start and play as much as possible. I was supposed to be on

[junior varsity], but I knew that wasn't going to happen.

"I'm so competitive that I'm not even allowed to play games in my

own house.

"With me, it's all or nothing."


And as Davis' senior season unfolded, it became apparent that it

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