Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Jackson volleyball adds more strength to schedule in hopes of state run

Jackson volleyball’s senior libero Holland Guilliams, who has verbally committed to play at Southeast Missouri State, returns for her final season as the reigning SEMO Conference Player of the Year. Photo by Jay Forness

Over the last three seasons, Jackson volleyball has been one of the most dominant teams throughout Missouri having won three-straight district championships and recording 30 or more wins each year.

Each of these seasons have ended one win shy of making the Class 5 Final Four as the Indians have fallen in the quarterfinals each season. The last two of Jackson’s quarterfinal opponents — Cor Jesu in 2021 and Lafayette Wildwood last fall — went on to win the state championship.

To make sure the Indians are better prepared to punch their ticket to the final four and play at the Show Me Center at the end of the season, head coach David Mirly has made sure to add more difficult opponents to his team’s schedule.

Mirly has coached this year’s senior class since seventh grade, and they’ve had much to do with Jackson’s success over the past three years. Four of them are going to play college volleyball as two will at the Division-I level in outside hitter Nadia Wasilewski and libero Holland Guilliams.

Guilliams is taking her talents to Southeast Missouri State and returns as the SEMO Conference Player of the Year. In her junior campaign, Guilliams registered a career-high 394 digs (only needs 83 more to reach 1,000 for her career) while recording double-digit digs in 18 contests with a game-high of 22.

“Holland is such a special player because she’s really the glue that holds us all together,” Coach Mirly said. “She’s the one who keeps us motivated, and she’s so talented and gifted as a libero.”

As for Wasilewski, she is set to play collegiately at Wichita State in the American Athletic Conference. Nadia became a three-time all-conference and all-district selection after producing a career-high 243 kills, .353 hitting percentage and 87 blocks last season.

Wasilewski did all of this while primarily playing as a middle blocker, but she will move over to more of an outside hitter role this season. Another senior outside hitter who is set to play college volleyball as well is Ella Domian, who has committed to D-II Maryville.

Domian earned both all-conference and all-district honors as well after a season where she finished with a career-high 271 kills and recorded a top-10 best hitting percentage in the state of Missouri at .405. Ella also produced 55 blocks.

While she’s not a senior, Coach Mirly has another future D-I player at his disposal in the front row, which is junior outside hitter Katy St. John. Katy and Guilliams could one day be teammates again as she’s already received an offer from SEMO.

“Katy is so naturally gifted and talented with what she can do all the way around,” Coach Mirly said. “She works every day to get better and that’s what makes this team so special and so unique. They’re never satisfied with where they’re at.”

After just two years of playing high school volleyball, St. John has already become Jackon’s all-time leader in kills with a total of 755. Katy broke her own program-record kills total of 354 with 401 while fielding a hitting percentage of .349 last fall. She also recorded 35 blocks for the Indians.

“Nadia, Katy and Ella have done so well when they get great sets, and they’ve proven how talented they are by putting the ball down,” Mirly said. “All three of them have adjusted so well when the sets aren’t good or we’re out of system. They’re putting a lot of power on the ball and have become so much better.”

Lining up in at middle hitter for Jackson this fall will be seniors Sydnie Floyd and Christa Vandeven. Floyd was both an all-conference and all-district selection last season in a year where she had 189 kills and 21 blocks, while Vandeven paced her with 71 kills but finished with the second-most blocks behind Wasilewski at 58.

The fourth and final senior to have already committed to play college volleyball next fall is defensive specialist Grace Newell. She is going to play at John A. Logan Community College next fall after coming up with 200 digs in 2022.

Guilliams and Newell will be joined in the back row by senior defensive specialist Charlee Koepp, who actually tied Grace for the second-most digs last fall. Charlee is also receiving looks to possibly play college volleyball.

Replacing the one starter Jackson lost from graduation — current College of the Ozarks player Kamryn Link — will be senior Payton Gannon and sophomore Ava Wessell at setter.

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.

You May Also Like

City News

A 26-year-old Mississippi man was disarmed, arrested and charged with murder following an early morning shooting spree on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the Town...

City News

A 58-year-old Jackson man drowned after going into Jackson City Park’s Rotary Lake during the July 4th firework show Sunday night. The man’s body...

City News

Americans frustrated by the policies of the current administration in Washington have let their feelings be known in large sporting venues across the country...


Former Jackson High School athletes will soon be honored in a new hall of fame program approved by the Jackson R-2 School Board during...