To say the Jefferson Blue Jays volleyball team had one of the greatest seasons in school history would not be any sort of overstatement… it actually was.
Since the Jefferson R7 High School has been in existence (2009), no volleyball team has produced more wins than the 2021 team. It just proves hard work and perseverance pay off.
“We got a taste of success last year and now we want more,” fifth-year coach Tara Fish said. “Those girls worked their tails off last season and all return this season, so our expectations are very high.”
The Blue Jays finished the campaign with a 33-7-1 record and were one win away from claiming a Class 2 State Championship showing, but lost to eventual State Champions Hermann in semifinal action. Jefferson settled for taking third overall, defeating Skyline in the third place game, which needless to say, was no small feat.
“We have every starter returning,” Fish said. “Plus, we have a Senior transfer that will help us and a trio of last year’s Sophomores (now Juniors) to help with depth.”
Leading the way for the Blue Jays will be a quartet of All-State honorees, led by Senior hitters Emma Breier, Kirstyn Loyd and Ava Roth plus All-State setter Paige Siebert returns. Fellow Senior Grace Lowery will help with defense and depth, as will Juniors Beth Dalton, Grace Neels and Bell Price.
“We had an outstanding summer together,” Fish said. “Nearly all of our players, grades 9-12, were highly devoted in the weight room with strength and conditioning. I can’t say enough about how our Softball Coach Robert Kuehnle, as well as Head Football Coach Matt Atley, took care of our girls in the weight room to get the absolute most out of their workouts. Their hard work, I feel, will show this season and will validate them when you see them play.”
“Our team motto is “I Play For Her”,” Fish said about how unselfish her players are. “This summer was proof that we are stronger than ever and are continuing to grow and come together as a team.”
Jefferson’s schedule will feature the Blue Jays hosting a jamboree on August 23rd with Herculaneum and Hillsboro at 5 p.m. at Jefferson R-7 High School.
Jefferson will then start the regular season on the road at Seckman on August 30th and play their home opener two nights later on Sept. 1st against Ste. Genevieve.
The Blue Jays will also battle quality teams on the road like Valle Catholic (Sept. 8th), North County (Sept. 13th), St. Vincent (Sept. 15th) and Saxony Lutheran (Oct. 18th) and will host Park Hills Central (Sept. 20th), Arcadia Valley (Sept. 20th) and Crystal City (Sept. 27th). Jefferson will also take part in the ultra-competitive Dig for Life Tournament at the Cape Girardeau SportsPlex and at the Show-Me Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
Good luck Blue Jays!