The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

95° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

So far so good: Safar impresses in first year at Arizona

Jasmine+Safar+%284%29+ready+to+make+a+play+on+April+13+at+Bear+Down+Bear%2C+in+Tucson%2C+Ariz.+Jasmine+and+Sarah+Blacker+won+their+match+in+doubles.+
Caleb Villegas
Jasmine Safar (4) ready to make a play on April 13 at Bear Down Bear, in Tucson, Ariz. Jasmine and Sarah Blacker won their match in doubles.

Arizona beach volleyball had one of its best seasons in program history with freshman standout Jasmine Safar playing an important role for the Sand Cats this season. Her journey to Arizona, though, did not initially start in the sand.

Safar was born in Ontario, Canada, where her first love of soccer was sparked at a young age, until her mentality shifted away from the game.

“I originally played soccer and was focused on that, but my mom wanted me to play a different sport to balance out being injured, so I decided to play volleyball,” she said.

Safar played both soccer and court volleyball until she was 15. She decided to quit soccer and focus on one sport after issues with her knees prevented her from playing both. 

Safar then opted to transition from the court to the sand and play beach volleyball.

Jasmine Safar (4) serving the ball on April 13, at Bear Down Beach, in Tucson, Ariz., Safar and Sarah Blacker won their match in doubles. 
Jasmine Safar (4) serving the ball on April 13, at Bear Down Beach, in Tucson, Ariz., Safar and Sarah Blacker won their match in doubles. 

“I touched the ball a lot more, and it was a lot more fun and relaxed, so I decided that I wanted to go down to the states for that,” the freshman said.

The recruitment process in high school took off for Safar as her skills developed enough to attract attention from other schools, but her eyes were always set on one place — UA. Her connections with a former assistant coach at Arizona made her determined to come to Tucson.  

“I sent emails to coach Steve [Walker], sent him my highlight videos, and asked if he could come watch me, since I was coming to California to play and it all kinda started from there,” Safar said.

College sports hasn’t been the only place where she has found success, however. This past March, Safar qualified for the FIVB World Championship to represent Canada’s top team for her age group in Thailand this summer. 

“It’s always unreal to be able to represent your country,” she said. “It’s been a main goal for me, so that was a great victory.” 

Despite the back and forth of playing for two teams, Safar doesn’t see it as a challenge. She said it’s the people around her that make the extra playing time easier to manage.  

Sarah Blacker (21) spiking the ball while Jasmine Safar (4) is ready to back her up on April 13 at Bear Down Bear, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona wins 4-1 against New Mexico.
Sarah Blacker (21) spiking the ball while Jasmine Safar (4) is ready to back her up on April 13 at Bear Down Bear, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona wins 4-1 against New Mexico.

“The coaches do a really good job of preparing us,” she said. “It’s all volleyball, so if you’re good at one thing, you can transfer it over into something else.”

The freshman sensation has found her groove on the sand this season with another fellow first year player teammate Sarah Blacker. 

The duo played as the team’s No. 4 pair and compiled a 22-3 record with wins against Cal Poly, ASU, Stetson and Stanford. 

“Sarah is really good at a lot of things. She’s very consistent and level headed,” Safar said of her teammate. “We’ve been playing pretty well this year, and I think a lot of that is because of her leadership.” 

Safar is one of the four freshmen on the team this year. Her breakout year is suggesting that the future is bright for Arizona beach volleyball.    


Follow Jacob Mennuti on Twitter

More to Discover
Activate Search