Jess Schaben and her impressive high school career

Kevin Horner

Although she may not have received the publicity she now has become accustomed to as a part of a Division I collegiate volleyball program, freshman Jess Schaben had a career in high school athletics of which many youngsters could only dream.

The 2015 Des Moines Register Female High School Athlete of the Year truly had the résumé to justify that title. In 2015, Schaben’s senior year, she led both her volleyball and basketball teams to state titles—the exact same feat she had accomplished a season earlier.

In 2015, Schaben’s Harlan Cyclones, the favorite entering the state tournament, defeated West Delaware of Manchester in the championship match—claiming the fourth and final set by a decisive 25-10 score. In that particular match, Schaben notched a total of 33 kills, bringing her state tournament total to 72 kills—39 more than any other player in that year’s tournament.

Schaben’s successful finish to 2015 capped off her 560-kill season, generated by a .484 hitting percentage. Surprisingly enough, Schaben’s numbers in her senior year dropped from her junior year, during which she recorded 573 kills.

In her other prominent sport, basketball, Schaben notched 14 points and nine rebounds in the 2015 State Championship Game in which Harlan defeated Western Dubuque to claim its second straight title and 52nd straight victory. The Cyclones, led by Schaben and teammate Taylor Frederick, did not lose a single game in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The three-time All-State basketball player and four-time All-State volleyball player is now an Iowa State Cyclone—just three matches into her collegiate career. ISU head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch and her team are hoping for a similarly successful four-year career for Schaben, but this time under the lights of Hilton Coliseum.