Taryn Nelson waited her turn for three years with the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ volleyball team.
Although the senior outside hitter has been an impact player with the Guards since her freshman season, Nelson was relegated to second fiddle behind standout Jocelyn Cervantes, and rightfully so.
Cervantes is the most decorated athlete in Bell-Jeff volleyball history, earning three All-CIF Southern Section Division IV-A awards, two Santa Fe League Player-of-the-Year honors and four All-Area accolades. Cervantes — who is at Cal State Stanislaus — graduated last spring after setting a slew of Bell-Jeff school records.
Having to often take a back seat to Cervantes didn’t leave Nelson feeling bitter.
“I never looked at myself as the second-best player on the team,” Nelson said. “I just wanted to go out and contribute to the team in any way that I could.”
With the departure of Cervantes, the Guards were looking for someone to step up and lead, not only with words, but by example on the court. Nelson was more than willing to step into that role, and it is under her leadership that the Guards are enjoying another wildly successful season.