The Riverwood volleyball program won an area title and reached the semifinals of the Class AAAAA playoffs last season. Even with the graduation of a strong senior class, the Raiders have continued their fervent form in 2018 with a 15-4 record through Sept. 19 and an undefeated mark in its first five Area 6AAAAA matches.
Riverwood junior outside hitter Kaylah Jackson has been the catalyst leading the team with 117 kills with along with 90 digs 16 assists.
“Kaylah is a fierce competitor and her on-the-court presence is undeniable by her teammates and opposing teams,” Riverwood head coach Nikia Bynum-Isler said. “Her passion for the game is unmatched, and she consistently works hard at developing her skills.”
Jackson had a team-high 10 kills and two aces in the Raiders’ 2-0 win over Pinecrest Sept. 13.
“We’ve been working hard inside and outside of practice,” she said. “We have great team chemistry and it’s a sisterhood. We play for each other and as hard as we can. Making it to the Final Four last year was great, but our goal is to (win) state. That’s where our head is at right now.”
Jackson has guided the Raiders through its transition to a younger team this year as well.
“We lost three seniors from last year, but have a new set of girls that are young and athletic,” she said. “I think that can be a good enhancement to help us reach state. Everyone has their role on the team and I look out for my fellow sisters. I want to be a role model and show them all parts of the game so that we can grow together as players.”
Jackson worked on various areas of her volleyball game this past offseason to increase her role on the team.
“I played this summer with my club team A5 South and was able to attend camps and elite sessions,” she said. “I work the entire year to work on things (such) as hitting different shots, improving my serve receive and seeing blocks.”
With the state playoffs less than a month away, the Raiders have already begun preparations for another potential long postseason run.
“I think we can get to state,” Jackson said. “We have to be consistent and work hard day in and day out.”
Jackson began playing volleyball at age 11 through her mother is a coach.
“I’ve grown up with the sport,” she said. “I’m competitive, so getting on the court and fighting with others for a common goal is a great satisfaction. I enjoy playing with others who want to win and have a bond. It’s an amazing feeling. When you’re having a bad day, you can always look to volleyball.”
Off the court, Jackson will become a member of the HOSA-Future Health Professionals organization (HOSA stands Health Occupations Students of America) at the end of the season. She also works in the community assisting the homeless population. Jackson lists math and science as her favorite subjects.
Riverwood returns to action Sept. 27 at Galloway.