Turlock High volleyball standouts Julia Handy and Jadyn Tubbs are sharing the same dream as they each signed letters to compete at the collegiate level on Wednesday.
The Bulldog teammates took a big leap into their futures as they both signed their National Letter of Intent from the Bulldog gym to their respective universities. Tubbs signed with University of Pacific in Stockton, while Handy signed to play at University of Arizona.
“I feel extremely blessed to be given this once-in-a-lifetime experience to play volleyball at Arizona,” said Handy. “My journey to this point has been incredible and I am stoked to have finally sealed the deal and signed. After a long recruiting process that started at the beginning of my freshman year, U of A felt like the right fit.”
“It's a wild feeling to be officially committed and I've been verbally committed for about two years now and signing on Wednesday made it feel 10 times more real,” said Tubbs. “It's crazy because it feels like just yesterday I was begging my mom to let me stay home from volleyball clinics when I was 12 and now I'm in love with the game and counting down the days until I leave to play in college.”
Tubbs, who has been a steady powerhouse since her freshman year, currently leads the team in kills with 353. She also leads this year's squad in digs (278).
“I was never offered by any other school, but I was in the early stages of talking to schools. It was honestly pretty surprising when UOP offered me because I still felt so young,” said Tubbs. “But after having time to contemplate my decision with my travel coach, Gabe Leal, and my mom, I knew that UOP was the perfect fit.”
So far this year, the 'Dogs are 32-8, tying the most wins in that four-year span when they captured 32 victories during the 2015 season. They also just won their second straight Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal, topping Pleasant Grove 3-1. This earned them a spot back in the Section Championship game.
“My time playing volleyball at Turlock high has been extremely memorable, however, we still have goals to achieve,” said Handy. “Freshman year Jadyn and I had the goal of winning a section championship for the first time in school history and Saturday we get another opportunity.”
From 2014 till now, with Handy and Tubbs on the starting lineup at Turlock High, the Bulldogs have accumulated an overall record of 114-42, proving the turnaround and leading them into the school record books.
They also don't seem to be content with their current accolades and are chasing the blue banner.
“The seniors and I have worked hard to this opportunity and with the help of our underclassmen we have put ourselves in the position to achieve our goal,” said Handy. “After sections I want to make it as far in Nor Cal playoffs as possible because I am not ready to take off my Turlock High jersey yet.”
Handy, who made a verbal commitment to U of A on Aug. 3, 2016, just secured her third straight 1,000-plus assist season as a senior and was the staple of the Bulldogs’ ability to create chances and multiple opportunities when she was on the court. She was a catalyst.
“I have always been set on going to a Pac-12 school because of the sports dynamic that comes with it,” Handy added. “But getting the opportunity to attend a school in the Pac-12 and play volleyball is a dream come true. Arizona is the place I want to be.”
Turlock High will take on St. Francis High out of Sacramento for the D-I Section title from St. Francis' gym at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I am extremely proud of how far our team has come we have changed the way people think about the Turlock High School volleyball program,” Tubbs added. “I am absolutely not satisfied and I know no one on my team is either. We have put ourselves in a great position this year and we're hungry for that section championship.”