Student-Athlete Spotlight: Jessica Duval

Evan Thue

Duval setting a pass during a match against River Falls earlier this season.

This issue’s Student-Athlete Spotlight is Jessica Duval, a senior on the UW-Stout volleyball team. Duval is an applied science major and is from Harlan Community. 

Why did you choose Stout?

I had never heard of UW-Stout until the prior head varsity volleyball coach, Laura Evans, recruited me from a club volleyball tournament that I played in Des Moines. After visiting Stout, I fell in love with the campus. The environment of the volleyball team, and loved that there were so many choices for my major as I came in undecided. 

Outside of school and athletics, what are some other things you like to do?

I really enjoy spending quality time and adventuring with my family and friends. I also enjoy coaching youth volleyball and volunteering in the community. Giving back really fills me up! 

What are a few interesting facts about yourself?

I am from Iowa, I worked as a cabin leader and camp counselor this past summer at Pine Lake Camps, and I go really hard at any type of costume contest. 

Who is your favorite pro-athlete and why?

Kerri Walsh Jennings. She is a professional beach volleyball player that has this poise about her. She is always giving credit to her teammates and coaches and really is a really cool humble human.  

What is your plan after college?

After college, I plan to move back home to the Omaha area. I want to be able to spend more time with family. I have some interviews set up including positions at physical therapy offices and coaching positions. I eventually would like to go to more schooling for something in the health-care field, but I am not quite sure what that “something” is yet….

If you had to pick another sport to play, what would it be and why? 

I would play tennis. I played in high school for fun, but I would really enjoy learning more about how to be successful in the spot. Many of the movements are similar to volleyball so it would be fun to transfer that over. 

What’s your favorite place on campus? 

My favorite place on campus would have to be the labs on the second floor of Jarvis. I have learned so much in these labs and have great memories from learning how to use a pipette for the first time, to being blessed with the opportunity to take advanced anatomy and have that experience that not everyone gets to have during undergrad. 

Favorite Food of All Time? 

My grandma’s biscuits and gravy. 

What’s your favorite song right now? 

My favorite song right now is 7000x by Judah & the Lion

If you could pick any other position to play, what would it be?

I think it would be fun to be an outside hitter.