A Season in Review: Varsity Volleyball

This story is part of a series detailing seasons that finished before the coronavirus postponement.

The Jackson Prep Varsity Volleyball team finished a stellar 2020 season with a third-place finish at the MAIS State Tournament. The successful season came in the first year of Head Coach Shelby Grace May’s tenure. Leadership was certainly not an issue for Patriots, as seniors Julia Zouboukos, Carol Currie, and Lauren Nickles embraced bigger roles in their final season.

Senior Julia Zouboukos shares some wisdom with Sophomore Meg Branning.

The year began with a tough matchup against PCS, a MAIS opponent. The Patriots were unfazed, though, setting down the Bobcats in three straight sets. However, Prep hit their first roadblock of the year as they sputtered against very tough competition in the Southern Classic Tournament, losing in matches to PCS and MRA. Regular season play continued as the team returned to their winning ways by shutting out Hillcrest and St. Joseph in consecutive matches. In total, the Patriots were very successful against 6A opponents. Coach Mays and her players defeated MRA and PCS twice, losing only to a very tough JA team.

The Patriots were now on to the conference tournament at Mississippi, in which they would progress to the third-place match. They did this by leaping past Hillcrest in the first round and coming up just short in a gritty effort against Hartfield in the semifinals. Prep had a very familiar opponent waiting on them, PCS. But, a new match did mean there would be a new result. The Patriots once again stood victorious over their rival to the south, this time securing a trophy from their efforts.

However, the awards did not stop there. Julia Zouboukos, a setter, and Julia Sumrall, a Mississipi College-bound middle hitter, were both chosen to play in the MAIS Volleyball All-Star game after the season concluded, adding achievements of the individual sort to the team’s aforementioned success. Altogether, we are proud of the fierce style of play these girls brought to the hardwood every game. Their senior leadership and toughness made them one of the most successful volleyball squads that Prep has seen in recent years.