Macy Jerger’s move from Florida to California is paying off
It did not take long for Macy Jerger to conclude what she was most grateful for this past Thanksgiving. For a host of other Developmental Program athletes, it was a bit of a task – so much to be grateful for! How could I pick just one!
Jerger isn’t any different, in that she is abundant in elements of her life for which to be grateful. But still, it took only a matter of seconds for her to volunteer her mother as the subject of her gratitude.
It was her mother, Susan, who made the move to California more practical than it is for most who are trekking cross country to pursue beach volleyball. She had moved to California before Macy graduated from Florida State, where she went 102-32 and three times won the CCSA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, making it almost easier for Macy to live in Huntington Beach than Florida.
But beyond just the feasibility, Susan literally moved Macy to Huntington Beach. While Macy flew across the country, from Tallahassee to Huntington Beach, Susan packed up Macy’s car and took the 3,000-plus mile drive across I-10.
And then, as if that wasn’t enough to earn a nomination for Mother of the Year, “she gave me a place to stay and she fed me and that was super awesome of her,” Macy said. “My uncle and my aunt and my grandparents live out here, so I had my family here but I wasn’t really in touch with the volleyball world yet.”
A former teammate of hers, Tory Paranagua, had an easy solution for that. They had played together when Jerger was a sophomore, going 19-7, and briefly during Jerger’s junior year, where they went 9-5 on court one. When Paranagua graduated, she made the move to Southern California, joining the p1440 Developmental Program, making eight professional main draws in 2018 and 2019.
“She got back to me and said ‘I made the team and it’s great training and we get to go workout for free!’” Jerger, 22, said. “And I said ‘That’s awesome, what a great idea!’ Some time passed and she got back to me and said the training is in Hermosa, it’s super beneficial, you should come do this when you graduate.
“I told my coach in college [Brooke Niles] that I wanted to play professional beach. She knew my goals and I wanted to move to California after I graduated so I said ‘I’ll just move out there and try out for p1440 and I’ll have training and play AVP and it’s going to be great.’”
Sounds simple enough. Remarkably, it actually did remain that simple. After competing in the NCAA Championships in Gulf Shores, Jerger made the third round of the qualifier in Austin, final round of the Hermosa Beach qualifier, main draw in Manhattan Beach, and then the final rounds in both Chicago and Waikiki. She rose from the 48th seed in the qualifiers to the ninth, an ascent that can only be expected to continue with a full off-season under her belt and training with the Dev Program, and partner Bre Moreland.
“I definitely feel like it’s where I need to be to kickstart my professional career,” said Jerger, who won the most recent Instrasquad tournament. “I feel like the competition out here is more challenging and it’s just helping me get better and get experience.
“I want to be the best I can be. I want to see what challenges I can overcome, and I want to see results.”
But first, she’s going to thank mom.
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