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Jackson, Notre Dame and Saxony volleyball earns top district seeds

Jackson junior Nadia Wasilewski leads the Indians in blocks with 71 and is third in kills at 206. Photo by Jay Forness

Tomorrow is officially the start of all volleyball district tournaments across the state as Jackson, Notre Dame and Saxony Lutheran each earned the No. 1 in its respective district tournament.

The Indians (27-4-4) are the only team out of the three that will have to play in the quarter-final round, though, since Class 5 District 1 has an even amount of teams. The three-time reigning district champions Jackson will face eighth-seeded Mehville (2-17) in the first round.

If victorious, the Indians will then either face Oakville (11-15) or Lutheran South (10-14-3) on Monday in the semifinals. The district title game will be held Tuesday as Northwest (21-9) earned the No. 2 seed in Class 5 District 1, which fell to Jackson 3-1 Oct. 4.

Statistically, Jackson has been led by sophomore outside hitter Katy St. John, who has recorded a team-high 345 kills with a .353 hitting percentage. Pacing St. John with 233 kills of her own is junior outside hitter Ella Domian, who has a team-high hitting percentage of .403.

Behind them with the third-most kills for the Indians is junior middle blocker Nadia Wasilewski with 206, while she leads the team in blocks with 71. Domian has 47 blocks, while Jackson junior middle blocker Christa Vandeven paces Nadia with 53 total blocks.

The Indians have five players with triple-digit digs as junior libero Holland Guilliams leads the way with 329. Junior defensive specialists Grace Newell and Charlee Koepp are second and third in digs, respectively, with 172 and 162.

The reigning Class 3 District 1 Champions Notre Dame (19-7-4) received a bye in the first round of the tournament as the Bulldogs will not start district play until the semifinals on Monday.

Notre Dame will either face No. 4 Kennett (12-18-4) or No. 5 New Madrid County Central (9-17-2) for a trip to Tuesday’s district title game. Earning the No. 2 seed was Fredericktown (21-7-1), while 2021 district runner-ups Dexter (19-7-2) is the three-seed.

Leading the Bulldogs offensive attack has been a combination of senior outside hitter Kristin Anderson and freshman middle blocker Kate Rubel, who have recorded 220 kills and 212 kills, respectively.

Rubel also leads Notre Dame with 69 total blocks and a .381 hitting percentage, while Anderson is second in digs at 353. Bulldogs senior outside hitter Tori Rubel and sophomore middle blocker Courtney Tatum are tied for second in blocks with 54 apiece.

Leading Notre Dame in digs is senior libero Anna Garner with 496, while junior defensive specialist Aubrey Neumeyer is behind her and Anderson with 208.

Saxony (22-7-3) hopes to win its third-straight district championship next week as the Crusaders will either face Clearwater (9-15-1) or Greenville (10-12-2) in the semifinals Saturday. Scott City (23-10-3) earned the No. 2 seed as Woodland (6-16-1) is No. 3.

Saxony senior middle blocker Josey Wahlers has recorded a team-high 251 kills (.372 hitting percentage) and 113 blocks. Senior libero Anna Mueller leads the Crusaders in digs with 293.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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