Recently the Jose Cuervo National Volleyball Championships took place in Huntington Beach. During the qualifying round, one player in particular stuck out, Jess Gysin. After watching a few rounds of her spiking the ball with partner Jennifer Snyder, I had one question, Who’s That Girl? See, the thing about Jess, who just so happens to be a former All-American volleyballer and USC grad, she’s not only beautiful, but the girl can play some beach volleyball! She and her partner put up an exciting challenge and proved why they made it to the qualifying rounds.
After ear hustling her interview with a local news outlet, I decided I had to interview Jess for myself to hear more of her interesting story. Thanks to the good folks at Taylor Strategy and Jose Cuervo, I got a few moments with Jess after the championships.
Jess and I talked about life as a blonde, her biggest turn offs, Jose Cuervo and her future plans, including her goal to be a 2016 Olympian. She also spilled the beans about what professional athlete she is dating. Below is a bit of our conversation.
Tam-Star: I read that both your parents were professional volleyball players, so I wanted to know was it a natural progression for you to become a professional volleyball player?
Jess: Yes, it was. I grew up in Santa Cruz watching both of my parents play professionally on the AVP. I pretty much started playing, as soon as I could walk I had a ball in my hands. I’ve basically played ever since, so it was a very natural progression for me.
Tam-Star: Did you ever consider doing something else or playing another sport?
Jess: Yes, when I was young I tried every sport. I played competitive soccer for many years, I played basketball, and I did track, but I always found myself coming back to volleyball because that’s what I was most passionate about and had fun doing.
My mom coached me when I was young and I didn’t like the contact sports, so basketball and soccer were out. It worked out perfect and I’ve just been playing volleyball ever since.
Tam-Star: What’s been your most treasured accomplishment as a volleyball player?
Jess: I think winning four state championships in a row. We were the first high school team to win four state championships in a row, and then also the national championship, so I think that was a big accomplishment.
But, I think ultimately it would be earning a full ride to play at USC and then making it to the final four there and being captain of the team. Leading us to a couple final fours I think would be the biggest accomplishment.