TAMA - In a matter of moments, Clarke University volleyball coach Chris Miron saw the instant impact Jade Rohach has at the net.
And within minutes of meeting her, the Crusader headman knew the South Tama County standout was destined for his program.
"She's very explosive in the frontcourt - that's one of the first things we saw as coaches," Miron said of Rohach, who signed her letter of intent Thursday to continue her volleyball career at Clarke University.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
South Tama County senior Jade Rohach, seated center, prepares to sign her letter of intent Thursday in the STC library to play volleyball at Clarke University. Also in attendance are Jade’s parents, Paula and Larry Rohach, seated. The back row includes, from left, Clarke University head coach Chris Miron, STC assistant coach Holly Kupka, STC head coach Michelle Bradley, and Clarke University assistant coach JP Dorn.
"I really see a lot of potential in her and a lot of athleticism. That's really what we need on the team - someone who can be quick and fast and put the ball away for us."
The Trojan middle hitter can do all the above.
Boasting a 26-inch vertical, wide wingspan and state qualifier track speed, Rohach's abilities extend beyond her 5-foot-9 frame.
"(Jade) can jump out of the gym," STC coach Michelle Bradley said. "When you have a 26-inch vertical and long arms, that's hard to get past. She plays like a 6-2 or 6-3 player."
Opponents would agree as the two-time North Iowa Cedar League West first team selection led the division in blocks (2.25 per set) and finished fourth in kills (2.88 per set) in conference play.
Still, identifying the extensiveness of Rohach's skill set is not such a quick study.
Along with her physical tools, the 2012 T-R All-Area volleyball first-team honoree, brings a wealth of other intangibles.
"(Jade) is a wonderful attacker and can hit the ball like crazy, but she's smart," Bradley said of Rohach, who led the Trojans to a third place finish in the conference.
"She'd get up in the air and was so good about looking on the other side of the court and finding a hole. She didn't have to clobber it there, she knew she just had to put it there for the point and that takes a lot of smarts."
Strong communication skills, a vast knowledge of the game and versatility are a few more reasons Bradley sees the senior standout as a leader on the floor - and further evidence that she can succeed at the next level.
"She knows the game of volleyball inside and out," Bradley said. "She can set, she can pass, and she can serve. Finding an all-around player like that is amazing."
Deciphering all the assets of Rohach's game is difficult upon first glance and the same was true for the senior in her college search. Though given a second look, the choice became clear in selecting the four-year Dubuque school over Wartburg College, Mount Mercy University and Kirkwood Community College.
"The first visit I wasn't really sure and then I went to Wartburg and I just kept thinking about Clarke," said Rohach, a 2011 Class 3A all-state honorable mention. "I like the campus and the coaches seem really nice. ... I couldn't find anything wrong with it for me so that's when I decided."
Similarly, Miron - who enters his eighth season at the helm - couldn't find anything wrong with Rohach, whether it was on or off the court.
"It didn't take more than 10 minutes sitting down (with her) and I was pretty sure, that's a Clarke kid," said Miron, who directed the Crusaders to a 28-9 record last season.
"Just getting to know her - she's a great kid, fun to be around, has a great attitude and is a hard worker. ... I'm looking for a great career out of her."
With her college decision behind her, Rohach now has nothing holding her back from rising high above the net once again.
"It felt like 10,000 pounds off my shoulders," said the four-sport athlete who prefers blocks over kills in helping turn the momentum of a match. "It feels good and it pumps up the team. It seems like you're on a roll and the other team isn't - you kind of stop their roll."
Whether it's a block, set, kill or serve, Bradley is certain the Crusaders are lucky to land a multi-talented player that can lead by example.
"I've said it all along, 'If somebody doesn't snatch her up - they're missing out,'" Bradley said. "I think she'll do some wonderful things there."