Melina Jones loves balance sheets. Yes, she knows that isn't normal.
"I had my first business class last semester," she says. "We covered balance sheets and things like that -- it was so exciting. The whole time I was thinking, This is so much fun. I shouldn't be enjoying myself so much."
Alongside the business administration program, Melina is also studying Spanish -- with the goal of pursuing an international business degree at San Diego State in the fall.
"When I originally got into the major," says Melina, "I wanted to travel, to see different places. I'm also interested in linguistics, and I liked the idea of learning a different language as well."
Melina suited up for the women's volleyball team as a freshman, then spent a year on the sidelines to tackle some of her harder classes. And this year, she's back on the court for the Coyotes.
As a libero, her primary responsibility is defense: "digs, free balls, first-contact stuff."
"The best moment," says Melina, "is when I know a hitter is going to a particular spot, and I'm right there to dig it, and make a perfect pass to the setter. When you can read a hitter, see their tendencies and adjust, you can change the entire game."
"I can look over a coach and say, I did it. I saw it."
In a perfect world, a libero is only supposed to play on the back row. But at times, Melina has found herself in unfamiliar territory.
"My first year," she says, "we had one game where we only had six girls, so we all had to play every rotation. I am five-three, I should not be in the front."
To borrow one of Melina's favorite terms from the business world, the most important balance sheet isn't the scoreboard.
"Did we put our heart on the court, and did we play our hardest? Our goal is to learn, get better, and play our own game.
"We lost our first game, but I felt like we played great. And we've been playing better every game."
The Coyotes posted their first win of the season last Wednesday against West LA, with Melina contributing a team-high 17 digs.
"We're starting to come together as a team," she says, "and I see it, and it's the greatest feeling. We want to keep it going."