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Jackson volleyball has steam heading into final stretch of season

Sophomore Holland Guilliams currently leads Jackson in digs with 174. Photo by Jay Forness

Over the weekend, the Jackson volleyball team officially hosted its annual tournament as the Indians finished first overall in Group 1 of pool play by winning seven of their eight sets.

Jackson was one game away from reaching the championship match after beating Class 1 Lesterville 2-1 (20-25, 25-11, 25-17) in the quarterfinals, but it then lost to eventual Jackson Volleyball Tournament Champions and fellow Class 5 member Helias Catholic 2-0 (25-18, 28-26) in the semifinals.

The Indians were able to defeat Helias in pool play as they even swept the Crusaders 2-0 (25-20, 25-22). After sweeping tournament host Jackson, Helias took on Class 3 Valle Catholic in the finals as the Crusaders beat the Warriors 2-1 (25-14, 20-25, 25-16).

Heading into its own tournament, the Indians strung off their longest winnings-streak of the season with six victories in a row as they then went 3-0-1 in pool play of the tournament. The teams Jackson was able to beat in pool play other than Helias Catholic were Arcadia Valley and Mehlville, while the Indians tied with Nerinx Hall.

One of Jackson’s wins during its streak was over Valle Catholic, 3-1, on Sept. 28.

The Indians win over the Warriors was just one of the many games sophomore libero Holland Guilliams has recorded double-digit digs (15) as she leads her team with 174. Guilliams is also one of her team’s top servers as she’s only missed four of her 202 serves (98%) for 111 service points and 16 aces. On top of that, Guilliams has a serve receive total of 2.03 out of 639 serves received.

Offensively against Valle Catholic in regular-season action, sophomore outside hitter Ella Domian recorded a team-high 17 kills, while senior middle hitter Mia Trankler and freshman outside hitter Katy St. John paced her with 15 and 13, respectively.

St. John leads Jackson in overall kills right now with 191 along with a hitting percentage of .421 on 373 attempts as Trankler is third in kills at 113 (.458 hitting percentage on 212 attempts).

Pacing St. John in kills is sophomore outside hitter Nadia Wasilewski, who currently has 140 but only a hitting percentage of .250 out of 348 attacks. Domian is the fourth and final Indian with triple-digit kills at 106 with a hitting percentage of .367 out of her 237 total attacks.

Setting the ball to these hitters has been junior setter Kamryn Link as she’s recorded a team-high 562 assists, while Guilliams has the second most at 31.

Defensively at the net, Trankler leads the Indians with 52 blocks as Link paces her at 33. Sophomore middle hitter Christa Vandeven is third in blocks as she’s recorded 21, and she also has the fifth most kills with 68 (.311 hitting percentage on 164 attempts).

Second in digs behind Guilliams is Link as she’s the only other player for Jackson with more than 100 at 119, as Vandeven is third in digs with 93. Senior defensive specialist Alexa DeLuca paces them with 72 digs of her own.

The next tournament for the Indians prior to the Class 5 District 1 playoffs is the SEMO Conference Tournament starting on Monday, which the Indians have won the past two seasons.

Jackson (19-5-3) was seeded second in this year’s district tournament behind Northwest (20-5-2). The Indians will face No. 3 seed Fox (7-7) in the district semifinals on Oct. 22.

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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