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Jackson volleyball’s Guilliams repeats as SEMO Conference Player of the Year

Senior libero Holland Guilliams was named the SEMO North Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight season last week. Photo by Nick McNeal

After winning the SEMO Conference Tournament for a record fifth-straight season this fall, the Jackson volleyball team took home every conference award that was available.

Earning the title of SEMO Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight fall was senior libero Holland Guilliams, who will continue her playing career at the local Division-I program Southeast Missouri State.

Guilliams was also named libero of the year for the third and final time of her career, sharing the honor with Cape Central junior Ella Hukel.

Statistically, Holland led Jackson in digs with 381 as she finished as the Indians all-time leader in digs at 1,298 for an average of 324.5 digs per year over the course of her high school career.

Guilliams also recorded the most service receptions at 497, while producing the best serve percentage (97%) among all Indians with at least five serve attempts. Holland was first in service points at 266 and came up second in aces (40).

The next award brought home by a Jackson player was the title of SEMO North Conference Setter of the Year, which was given to senior Payton Gannon. As one of the Indians two setters, Gannon led her team in assists with 543 as three Jackson players finished with 300-plus kills this season.

Outside of her assists, Payton was also one of the Indians top servers with 201 service points (second on team), 38 aces (third) and held a 91% serve percentage. Gannon helped out on the defensive end as well, finishing with a total of 175 digs (second highest).

Jackson senior outside hitter Ella Domian took home the fourth and final individual honor for the Indians as she was named the SEMO Conference Hitter of the Year. While Domian finished third overall in total kills for Jackson with 312, she managed to record the best hitting percentage with a .380 as she only had 66 errors on 647 attack attempts.

Outside of her offense, Ella finished third overall in total blocks as she came up with a career-high 56 this fall. Domian will be continuing her playing career at D-II Maryville.

Domian and Guilliams were both named first team all-conference, of course, while Gannon was actually named to the second team as Saxony Lutheran junior setter Isabel Brown garnered first team honors. Another setter in the conference was named to the second team with Payton in Notre Dame sophomore Claudia Jones.

Other first team all-conference selections for the Indians were outside hitters senior Nadia Wasilewski and junior Katy St. John. Both eclipsed 1,000 career kills and are the No. 1 and No. 2 kill leaders in program history.

Wasilewski finished as the Indians leader in kills this fall with a career-high 333 and tied St. John for the second-best hitting percentage at .290. Nadia, who will play collegiately at D-I Wichita State, finished with a career total of 1,031 kills.

Additionally, Wasilewski registered a team-high 41 aces while also coming up with 50 total blocks (fourth on team).

St. John paced Nadia with 328 kills of her own after leading Jackson with 401 in 2022. Katy finished fifth in blocks behind Wasilewski as well at 44, while coming up with 194 serve receptions (fourth on team).

Gannon was the only Indian named to the second team, while senior defensive specialist Grace Newell and senior middle blocker Christa Vandeven garnered honorable mention all-conference.

Newell, who will continue her playing career at John A. Logan Community College, registered 147 digs (fifth on team), 290 service receptions (second) and produced a serve percentage of 94%.

As for Vandeven, she actually led the Indians in total blocks by notching a career-high 89 in her final season at Jackson. Christa was also a more-than reliable server for the Indians with a percentage of 92%, coming up with 32 aces and 136 service points.

All seven of these players were named Class 5 District 1 All-District as Domian, Gannon, Guilliams, St. John and Wasilewski earned first team honors. Vandeven was named second team all-district, while Newell earned a spot on the honorable mention team.

These Indians helped Jackson win its fifth-straight district title along with a fifth consecutive conference tournament title. Jackson brought home the conference regular-season title as well and finished with a 29-7-3 record.

Lastly, Jackson head coach Dave Mirly earned SEMO North Conference Co-Coach of the Year honors with Saxony’s Stephanie Brown.

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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