Marquette's Jenna Rosenthal helping grow pro volleyball in the U.S.

Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-01 16:32:16-04

MILWAUKEE — Jenna Rosenthal thought college volleyball might be the pinnacle of her career.

"Honestly going to Marquette was the pinnacle. The peak of my dreams for a girl from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin," Rosenthal says.

Now she's playing professional volleyball in Mesa, Arizona for Athletes Unlimited.

"Little boys get to watch Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and all those guys play on TV and are exposed to that. Whereas, little girls and boys playing volleyball don’t have a role model," Rosenthal says.

Jenna Rosenthal

Rosenthal used to play overseas. Now professional options in the United States are finally becoming reality.

"We won the gold medal in Tokyo and we don’t have a place for our athletes to compete. It’s absolutely insane, it’s absolutely crazy. Now, Athletes Unlimited has a product, the pro volleyball federation will kick off in seven cities in 2024, there’s just so many more options," Rosenthal says.

Athlete's Unlimited is the only professional women's indoor volleyball league in the U.S. with 44 athletes where teams are re-drafted and change weekly.

"Fantasy sports made real.  The players make the decisions, the players choose who is on their fantasy teams, who they’re going to pick to rack up the points, because obviously individual statistical points are important, but even more important are the team points," Rosenthal says.  

Jenna will never forget her Milwaukee roots. 

Jenna Rosenthal

"Personally, Jenna Rosenthal would love a Milwaukee franchise in the pro volleyball federation. I think Milwaukee is a phenomenally crazy volleyball town - shout out to Fat Daddy’s in the Third Ward, or Bradford Beach, you can find me there in the summers," Rosenthal says.

But loves the growth of volleyball for the next generation.

"I think it’s a really, really, exciting time for the sport of volleyball. We all know we love the sport because we’ve been in the industry for years and years.  It’s about sharing the sport with the  general population," Rosenthal says.

To back up Jenna's points?  Volleyball has become the top team sport for girls nationwide.