MARTIN, Tenn. † Jaclynn Wilsonwho just completed her seventh season as the University of Tennessee at Martin head volleyball coach, has secured commitments from Kayla Bryant, Mary Leslie Cranford, Anna Gover and Mia Saenz for the 2022 season.
“We are really excited about where our program is headed at UT Martin,” said Wilson, who guided the Skyhawks to their best Ohio Valley Conference winning percentage (.611) in two decades this past fall. “We have a strong group of returners and we’re only adding more strength to the roster with this incoming group. I look forward to watching all four of these girls compete for playing time next fall.”
Kayla Bryant, OH, 5-10, Fr., Louisville, Ky. (Sacred Heart Academy)
Was an integral part of the prestigious Sacred Heart Academy program, playing under head coach Brett Versen…Helped the Valkyries to a 33-10 record and a No. 1 state ranking for a majority of the 2021 season, earning District 27 and Region 7 titles…Earned KHSAA All-Tournament accolades after helping SHA secure a berth in the semifinals as a senior (the school’s first state tournament appearance since 2016)…Tallied 544 kills, 369 digs, 143 service aces and 85 blocks over her four-year prep career…Registered 247 kills on a .228 hitting percentage, 48 service aces, 44 blocks and 99 digs as a senior…Posted a career-best 53 service aces and 196 digs during the 2019 campaign…Was a member of the Union Volleyball Club based out of Louisville, Ky.
“Kayla had a stellar senior campaign and I am anxious to see her in the gym with our girls,” Wilson said. “I think she is capable of making a push for court time immediately.”
Mary Leslie Cranford, OH, 6-0, So., Covington, Tenn. (Itawamba CC)
Joins the Skyhawks from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss., where she played two seasons for head coach Priscilla Morgan…Helped the Indians make back-to-back trips to the NJCAA Gulf District Tournament in her two seasons, knocking off a trio of top-20 nationally ranked opponents on their way to a 19-12 record in 2021…Accumulated a team-best 263 kills (2.86 per set) on a .203 attack percentage, collecting 189 digs (2.05 per set), 24 blocks and 20 service aces…Was responsible for six double-doubles as a sophomore, including season-highs of 20 kills and 20 digs (plus a season-best four blocks) at Walters State on Sept. 3…Recorded double-digit kills on 14 different occasions, including a season-best .609 hitting percentage (14 kills against zero errors) on 23 swings at Bevill State on Oct. 20…Landed a season-high three service aces in four different matches…Ranked second on the squad in kills (138, 2.12 per set) on a .228 attack percentage as a true freshman, aiding ICC to a 13-7 overall record… Reached double figures in the kill column six times in 2020-21, including a season-best 13-kill, .611 hitting percentage in her collegiate debut against Bevill State on Jan. 23…Prepped at Tipton-Rosemark Academy, where she played under head coaches Amy Weatherington and Wendy Porter…Dialed up 346 kills (3.1 per set), a .254 hitting percentage, 301 digs (2.7 per set) and 74 service aces in 2019 …Captured All-Metro honors as a senior, the same season she registered a team-high 15 kills and 15 digs in an Oct. 15 win over six-time defending state champion Webb School of Knoxville – the Lady Rebels’ first sub-state win in school history…Boasted career-highs in kills per set (3.6) and service aces (77) as a junior in 2018.
“Mary Leslie is coming to us this spring season which gives us a little more time to work her into our system,” Wilson said. “She had a great career prior to joining us – her experience on the court will be an asset to our program.”
Anna Gover, S, 5-7, Fr., Stanton, Tenn. (Covington HS)
Coming off a stellar prep career at Covington High School, starting all four seasons under head coaches Molly Glass and Angie Gover (her mother)…Collected District 15 Most Valuable Player accolades in two straight years (2020-21) while also capturing All-Region and Region Tournament MVP honors…Helped guide the Lady Chargers to the state tournament in 2020, which was the program’s first berth in 19 years…Was part of a WHS squad that finished just one win shy from another state tournament appearance in 2021.
“Anna is a pure athlete who can play multiple positions,” Wilson said. “I am excited to see her compete against higher level athletes – I think she will thrive. It will be fun to see what direction we look for her to take once we get her in the gym.”
Mia Saenz, MB, 6-1, Fr., Lexington, Ky. (Bryan Station HS)
Pieced together a remarkable run at Bryan Station High School, playing for head coach Hilary McKenzie…Aided the Defenders to a 25-5 record in 2021, which was the best mark out of any Region 11 school…Piled up 392 kills (4.56 per set ) as a senior, ranking 16th in the state in that category while helping BSHS to a District 42 championship…Added a .229 hitting percentage, 36 service aces, 43 blocks and 255 digs in 2021, earning Lexington All-City accolades in the process…Was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Watch List going into her senior campaign…Also nabbed Lexington All-City honors as a sophomore in 2019…Played at the club level for the prestigious KIVA Sports organization based out of Louisville, Ky.
“Mia is a strong force at the net both offensively and defensively,” Wilson said. “She has a high ceiling left for development which is really exciting considering her current skills.”