SARATOGA - After an undefeated 2020 season, West Valley's Jaida Ward will play beach volleyball at neighboring San José St., Viking volleyball program coach Armen Zakarian recently announced.
Ward teamed with Rene Wash as WVC's #2 pair in the shortened 2020 season. Ward and Wash went 4-0 against community college competition, posting wins over top-tier pairs from Sierra, Marin, Feather River and San Joaquin Delta. They opened 2020 with sweeps against Sierra and Marin and then, in what may have been the match of the year, rallied for a 17-21, 21-18, 15-12 victory over Feather River's Kayla Joyce and Natalie Thomas. Ward/Wash ended the season with a 21-10, 21-11 sweep of Delta's Stephanie Fopiano and Jessica Smith.
The 5-8 Ward prepped at Stockton's Lincoln High before joining Zakarian's program for the fall 2019 indoor season. She was an instrumental part of the 2019 Coast Conference champion Vikings, earning All-Coast 2nd Team honors after posting 186 kills (2.35 KPS), 80 digs and 23 blocks. The scholar-athlete also earned the 2020 WVC Fang Pei Promise Fund academic scholarship.
"From the moment Jaida stepped on campus at West Valley, she checked all the right boxes for a student-athlete." said Zakarian. "Excellent student, hard worker, competitor and team leader. She earned the respect of her teammates and coaches and earned the opportunity to showcase her beach volleyball talents at the highest level."
While Zakarian only had Ward for a single season, "We are so proud of Jaida and excited to follow her journey at San José St. Once a Viking, always a Viking!"
San José St. finished 2020 with a 9-2 record under coach Trent Kersten.
(Matt Folsom, West Valley Athletics)