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Senior Jazmine Reeves, who revved up her training regimen this summer, leads fourth-ranked Virginia Tech in points and assists.
MICHAEL SHROYER | Special to The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech forward Jazmine Reeves (left) dribbles past diving Notre Dame defender Sammy Scofield during Tech’s win over the Fighting Irish earlier this month.
The Roanoke Times | File September
Virginia Tech senior forward Jazmine Reeves (center) heads in the Hokies' lone goal in a 2-1 loss to North Carolina.
The Roanoke Times | File September
Virginia Tech senior forward Jazmine Reeves (left) celebrates with teammate Candace Cephers (18) after Reeves scored in a loss to North Carolina.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Jazmine Reeves is faster and trimmer this season.
She is also more prolific.
“Jazzy,” as she is known on the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team, is one reason the Hokies are making a national splash.
After getting in better shape over the summer, the senior forward leads the Hokies in points (19) and assists (five) and shares the team lead in goals with a career-high seven.
“My speed and athleticism helps me a lot,” she said.
The Hokies (13-1-2) moved up to No. 4 in the coaches poll Tuesday, the highest ranking in their history. They will take a nine-game unbeaten streak into Thursday’s home game with No. 3 Florida State.
“It’s amazing. It’s a lot of fun so far,” Reeves said of the season.
The Hokies, whose only loss was to defending NCAA champ North Carolina, clinched an ACC tournament bid last weekend. Tech is 8-1-1 in league play — the most ACC wins in the program’s history.
“It’s grit,” Reeves said. “We have the good soccer players, but we also have that edge to us that kind of helps us pull games out.”
Reeves made the ACC all-freshman team in 2010, when she had five goals and one assist. She made the All-ACC second team in 2011, when she had five goals and a team-high nine assists for a squad that advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.
She received no postseason honors last year, however. She had just four goals and four assists, and usually played in a reserve role.
Although she did not miss any games last season, Reeves was slowed last fall by a torn quadriceps muscle that she had suffered in spring practice.
“Last year she had a quad injury that she carried through the summer and into our season, and it limited her training, limited her fitness, limited her ability to make an impact,” Tech coach Charles Adair said.
Reeves said she knew last season that she should be doing better.
“Last year, I struggled,” she said. “I wasn’t fit. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t played in four or five months, so I wasn’t prepared. Even when I got back into things, it wasn’t the same.
“Mentally, I was having a hard time getting out of that rut. Physically, I was having a hard time getting out of the rut.”
So when Reeves returned home to Dover, Del., last summer, she not only worked as a full-time management intern at a Kohl’s department store but also worked out.
“I was completely dedicated and determined to come back ready and fit,” she said. “It was my senior season, so I wanted to make it the best it could possibly be.”
Her father, Harry, a former power-lifting world champion, timed her when she ran and joined her for weight-lifiting sessions.
“I was there to make sure she was doing all her lifts, and pushing her,” Harry Reeves said. “She’s very strong. She takes after her father. She has legs like me.”
She also played in a co-ed summer league — and changed her eating habits.
The 5-foot-6, 140-pound Reeves said she is about 15 pounds lighter than she was last season.
“I got my speed back,” she said.
Reeves has started 14 games this season.
“She’s extremely strong,” Adair said. “She just has that power in her run. I think she runs a sub-5 40. That’s pretty fast for a female athlete who’s not a track runner.”
Reeves’ parents, who divorced when she was 12 years old, are both Air Force veterans.
She was born in San Bernadino, Calif., where her parents were stationed at Norton Air Force Base. When she was almost 2 years old, the family moved to Delaware because Harry Reeves was transferred to Dover Air Force Base.
Reeves was a two-time Gatorade state player of the year at Caesar Rodney High School in Dover . She is in a long-term relationship with fellow Caesar Rodney graduate Tyshawn Bell of the Delaware State men’s basketball team.
As a teenager, Reeves joined a club team based in Northern Virginia to gain more exposure to college coaches.
“Delaware’s such a small place, and it’s hard to really be competitive,” she said.
Her decision to switch club teams paid off. She said she reaped scholarship offers from Tech, Virginia, Maryland and George Washington.
She has helped Tech make the NCAA tournament the past three years, and has delivered in big games.
One of Reeves’ goals this year came in the team’s 2-1 loss to North Carolina. Two years ago, she had an assist in the Hokies’ 1-0 upset of UNC.
“She’s always a threat,” UNC coach Anson Dorrance said. “We can’t seem to corral her.
“She’s just a wonderful player. I’m so glad she’s graduating.”
Reeves, who plans to graduate next spring with a business management degree, did so well with Kohl’s last summer that she already has a job lined up next year as part of the company’s management trainee program.
That was one productive summer.
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