A season of growth for the Jayettes

Cesar J. Toledo - Sports Correspondent
Perry’s Johanna Diw, shown at a tournament at A-D-M earlier this year. PHOTO BY BAILEY FREESTONE/THE PERRY CHIEF

Perry’s volleyball team didn’t have the season they hoped for but with a squad full of underclassmen, this season was more than about wins.

A 7-23 record isn’t something to write home about, actually this year’s squad fared one game worse than last year’s 8-26 team.

Just like their predecessor the 2017-2018 Jayettes began their season losing multiple games in a row before finally recording a win at the Skip Anderson Tournament on Aug. 26.

In contrast, this squad actually managed to squeak out their second win before last season’s players put their second in the win column - 16 games to be exact.

However both teams shared a common element to their season, one that isn’t measured in wins and losses. Grit!

A six game losing streak would dampened even the toughest player’s spirit. But these Jayettes continued to grind it out, to clench their teeth and move forward regardless of the final score.

Throughout the season the Jayettes’ head coach John Fulton was never one to single out any one player for a bad play or lack of effort.

In fact each week the first year coach insisted on praising and highlighting how his team performed especially in one of those overwhelming defeats.

“Overall I think we got the most out of the girls that we had. We had four excellent seniors (Sidney Vancil, Sydney Guerra, Isabel Saemisch and Jo Diw) who we will definitely miss,” he said after being eliminated in the first round of regional play by Harlan.

Fulton saw his squad perform at the highest level and looks to build upon the positives his team did this season while looking to see who will fill the holes left by, Diw, Vancil, Guerra and Saemisch.

“We have a few returners with a good amount of varsity experience coming back: Gabby West, Adriana Eastman, Jaquie Guardado, and Magley Orellana started a lot of games for us and they will have to improve through the offseason to help replace the offense that was lost,” he said.

For the season the Jayettes finished with a serve efficiency rating of 86.2 percent on 1,065 serves on 1,235 attempts.

“It will definitely be hard replacing our starting setter, outside hitter, middle hitter and libero,” Fulton added. “We will focus on finding that setter for next year first so we can run our offense. Diw accounted for 251 of the team’s 523 kills including setting the record for most kills, 12, in one set. She finished her career with 641 in just three seasons of play.

Vancil capped off her senior season with 393 assists of the 492 total and 34 of the 115 aces. For her career she tallied 1,231 total digs and has the record for most assists, 15, in one set.

Guerra recorded 310 of the Jayettes’ 728 digs. She leaves the team with 638 digs in a little over two seasons of competition. She also cracked the record books for digs in a season and average digs in a set.

Saemisch finished this season second in kills with 86, third in aces with 12 with an 88 percent service efficiency.

“We have a couple options for next year, we will just have to see who really works hard this offseason,” Fulton said. ”We are going to keep building to that goal of competing in the conference first and the things we do in our offseason weightlifting and open gym schedule will help us get there.”