Throwback Thursday 4.11.13 Jana Correa (Volleyball) 2003-07

April 11, 2013

041113aab_752_7044445.jpegIn the midst of the 2013 Kansas volleyball spring exhibition slate, Janaina “Jana” Correa reminisced about her time on the Jayhawk court. After a stellar senior season in 2007, finishing as the team leader in kills and service aces, Correa solidified her spot in the Kansas record books ranking in the top 10 in all-time kills (1,131). A native of Macapa, Brazil, Correa picked up volleyball after a brief career in swimming. Little did she know, this decision would ultimately lead her all the way to Lawrence, Kan. As a freshman, Correa was named Most Valuable Player of the Minnesota Tournament. The journalism major was also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection during her collegiate career.

Correa is currently coaching multiple club volleyball teams in the Lawrence area and is also a real estate entrepreneur, with her properties primarily back in Brazil. She recently gave birth to her first child, Zion, and her fiancé, Wendell Carmago, is the volunteer assistant coach for the Kansas volleyball team.

What are some hobbies you enjoy?
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“I love to go out to eat and be around many friends. One thing I love about Lawrence is how multi-cultural it is. Being a foreign student, it is nice to be around others from all over the world. I have made many friends from many different places during my time in Lawrence. I still love playing volleyball any chance I can. I love to travel as well. If I could make traveling my profession, I would love to do it because there are so many beautiful places in the world I would like to see.”

What made you choose KU?
“During my senior year of high school, there were several schools that came to Brazil to recruit me and some of my teammates. I remember Purdue, Kentucky, Kansas and Fresno State, in particular, but there were other schools as well. Originally, my plan was to go to Purdue. One of my best friends was going to go with me, but then she decided to go play in Spain. I had a friend that played at KU during this time, Josi Lima, and I decided that I wanted to go somewhere where I knew someone that could help me adjust to life in college, but also, go somewhere where I had a friend. That place was KU.”

041113aab_752_7044439.jpegWhat was your first experience on campus?
“SNOW! I remember it being January 14, 2003 and it was snowing. I was shocked because I had never seen snow before in my life. Where I grew up in Macapa, Brazil, it is located right on the equator so it never gets below 70 degrees. I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ At first, I did not like the snow because it was so cold. I warmed up to it after bit though because it was so beautiful to look at. The KU campus is beautiful all the time, but it was even more special seeing it covered in snow.”

What is your favorite volleyball memory from KU?
“I would have to say the Minnesota Tournament we played in during my freshman year. We were not a ranked team but we were good and had good players. Minnesota was probably ranked somewhere in the Top 20 at the time. We took them to five games and, ultimately, won the match. It was a major upset for us and we were just as shocked as anybody. I was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament which was truly amazing since I was only a freshman.”

What is your favorite non-volleyball moment at KU?
“I loved living in the Jayhawk Towers with all of my friends. I had Josi (Lima) and the rest of my teammates, not to mention all my friends from the other sports, there. We all used to cook together, and do anything and everything together. The Jayhawk Towers was my original ‘home-away-from-home’ and that is where I met many of my friends.”

What does it mean to be a Jayhawk?
“I remember all of the great memories. The great memories do not necessarily translate to wins and losses, 041113aab_752_7044676.jpegbut the bonds that were created with each and every one of my teammates over the years; all of us working hard to achieve the one goal of making KU a respectable volleyball program on the national level. I remember the matches, and the feeling I would get on game day. The fans were great; they supported us so much. The people of Lawrence are such great fans. They truly helped make my time here, as an athlete, more enjoyable.”

Any final thoughts on KU?
“I love KU! I am still connected with a lot of people at the University such as professors, coaches, etc. I came here from Brazil 10 years ago and I am still here. That alone should tell you how special this place is to me.”