Emerald Ridge High School / Portland State University
Jenna Mullen - Co-Female Amateur Athlete of the Year By Kevin Manning Puyallup Herald For the first time in Jenna Mullen’s athletic life, she was nervous. Like any college freshman, Mullen went through the throws of anxiety in being away from home for the first time. But after she remembered where she came from, the rest was Big Sky history. Ever since her birth on March 5, 1997, all Mullen knew was her home city of Puyallup. As a freshman at the University of Portland, Mullen faced adversity she hadn’t faced before in her young life. It was a big city, it was a new place, and expectations were high. So Mullen rose to what was expected of her. By the end of her first season with the Vikings, Mullen had been named the Big Sky Conference’s Outstanding Freshman of the Year after leading PSU in kills (308), aces (31) and points on the season (361.0). That is why Jenna Mullen has been selected, along with Megan Weaver (Curtis), by the Tacoma Athletic Commission as co-Female Athlete of the Year. Mullen led all freshman with kills per set (3.08) and was ranked in the top 10 in the conference. She led PSU eight times over the season in kills while collecting a team-high 18 multi-kill games. Her first double-double game-high of 17 kills and 10 digs came in Idaho, both career highs. By the end of the season, Mullen stood alone at PSU and in the Big Sky Conference as she was the only Viking and the only freshman selected to the all-conference team. It’s not surprising Mullen figured it out – not after the career she’s had before her big move to Portland. Over her three years playing for Emerald Ridge High volleyball, Mullen was historic. She accumulated an incredible 1,313 kills, 122 blocks, 725 digs, 104 service aces and 32 assists, not to mention a lifetime’s memory of bruises and court burns. Mullen left ER as the all-time leader in kills, blocks and single-match record for blocks with 6. Her time with ER volleyball saw the rise of Jaguar volleyball as Mullen led Emerald Ridge to their most sustained success after helping the team place third (2013), before closing out with a second-place finish (2014), the school’s highest placement. The success Mullen brought to Emerald Ridge translated throughout the 4A South Puget Sound League, and the South in particular. Emerald Ridge placed second again, this time to league rival Curtis, proving for one year, that the 4A SPSL South is the top volleyball conference in the state. And that’s thanks to athletes like Mullen and Weaver. People who have raised the standards of what it means to compete in this area, and helping aspire the generations after them. Congratulations to both.