L’Anse Creuse grad inducted into SVSU athletic hall of fame

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published November 9, 2022

 Sarah Jorgensen and her hall of fame plaque are pictured in SVSU’s brand new hall of fame hallway.

Sarah Jorgensen and her hall of fame plaque are pictured in SVSU’s brand new hall of fame hallway.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Jorgensen


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Saginaw Valley State University held a history-making hall of fame induction ceremony on Oct. 28, as they honored a local volleyball star.

Sarah Jorgensen, who graduated from L’Anse Creuse High School in 2005, became the first-ever SVSU volleyball player to be inducted into the school’s Cardinal Athletic Hall of Fame.

“She’s a great selection to be the first volleyball player just from the way she’s continued to grow and develop as a player, and not just as an athlete but as a student,” SVSU volleyball coach Will Stanton said. “She’s a great representative of the volleyball community at SVSU.”

Stanton coached Jorgensen from 2006-2009 after Jorgensen immediately started as a freshman for Saginaw Valley State University.

While becoming the first volleyball player inducted into the university’s hall of fame, Jorgensen was also the first volleyball player to ever win SVSU’s Ryder Athlete of the Year award in 2009.

Jorgensen helped L’Anse Creuse reach the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s semifinals in 2005 before attending SVSU, and on campus is where she said her commitment to volleyball was tested.

“We’d get there a month before school started, and we were some of the only people there. It was live, eat, breathe, sleep volleyball up until Christmas,” Jorgensen said.

In her four years at SVSU, which competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Jorgensen set the school record in kills (1,281) and was fifth all-time in digs (1,188).

She was a two-time All-GLIAC honoree, a National College Athletic Association All-American honorable mention, and was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Regions First Team.

“As far as playing volleyball, it was one of the more difficult yet exciting times of my life,” Jorgensen said. “Although it’s extremely challenging, it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Jorgensen’s biggest contribution came in her senior year as SVSU was primed to make a run in the NCAA Division II tournament.

After setting the university’s regular season wins record with 25, SVSU made it to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Finals for the first time in program history.

That was a moment Jorgensen said she still thinks about.

“I remember being in that game thinking that this was the furthest we’ve ever been in school history, and if we could just beat Grand Valley, we could make it to the championship,” Jorgensen said. “Just being there with all that support from the school and the community was just an amazing, amazing feeling.”

SVSU would lose the matchup, but the impact she made for SVSU volleyball throughout her four years would solidify her spot in the hall of fame.

A ceremony and dinner were held on Oct. 28 at the university where SVSU honored Jorgensen and the other members of the Class of 2023 hall of fame honorees.

Stanton was set to introduce Jorgensen, but SVSU’s volleyball team had a game that night. Instead, he recorded a video to make sure he could be a part of the moment.

“It was an honor,” Stanton said. “I would’ve loved to do it in person, but it was just an honor to do that for anyone at that level being recognized, but also the first volleyball player from SVSU.”

Jorgensen gave a speech at the ceremony, but she added an extra element to it that was special for her.

On the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the federal civil rights law enacted in 1972 that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education or activities that receive federal funding, Jorgensen took the time to honor the female athletes before her that were not protected, including Jorgensen’s mother. Jorgenson’s mother had a chance for an athletic scholarship but was told she would have to play two sports to earn it, while the male athletes only had to play one.

“Her one wish was that her daughter wouldn’t have to make that same decision,” Jorgensen said.

Along with a ceremony, SVSU introduced its new hall of fame hallway in a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the inductees. The hallway features pictures of the inductees and their accomplishments.

“It was really cool to be a part (of), especially for it being the one year I was inducted that they introduced the ribbon cutting,” Jorgensen said.

Her spot will forever be solidified at SVSU, with a gap now bridged for more volleyball players to follow her journey into the hall.

“I certainly hope so,” Stanton said. “There’s a few players around her time here that should get some looks, so hopefully it opens the door around here.”