Pearl River volleyball enters NJCAA Rankings for the first time at No. 19

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Just three years into its existence, the Pearl River volleyball program has entered the National Junior College Athletic Association rankings for the first time at No. 19.

“They kept their heads down, put in the work and they didn’t care if anyone was looking,” head coach Haley Chatham said. “Never could I have dreamed this for season three, but these kids just keep making it happen every single day.

“I am so proud of my team.”

After four consecutive weeks of receiving votes in the national poll, a perfect 5-0 week gave Pearl River the boost that it needed.

The Wildcats have been improving year after year since their inaugural season. In its first year, Pearl River finished with a 9-16 record.

In year two the Wildcats fought their way into the NJCAA Gulf Atlantic District Tournament where they won three matches before falling. The team finished the season with a 16-10 record.

Pearl River is off to a blistering start in 2021, holding a 21-3 record. The Wildcats have dominated their opponents this season. Of their 21 wins, 17 of them are in straight sets. Out of the 78 sets played by the Wildcats this season they have only fallen in 13 of them.

Diamond Jones (Gonzales, La.; East Ascension) leads the team in kills with 277 and Leah Draine (Mobile, Ala.; Mattie T. Blount) comes in at second with 163.

Allison Carpenter (Ocean Springs) and Julianah Overstreet (Vancleave) lead the team in service aces with 45 and 35, respectively.

Sydney Salter (Vancleave) leads the team in digs with 253. Overstreet is second with 211 and Amy Wright (Palm Bay, Fla.; Melbourne Central Catholic) rounds out the top-3 with 192.

Overstreet leads the team in assists with 409 assists while Avery Beth Durdin (Olive Branch; Lewisburg) is second with 344.

Jones and Leighton Willoughby (Brandon; Northwest Rankin) lead the way in block assists with 40 and 33.

Hannah Burks (Ocean Springs; Vancleave), Payton McKerchie (Vancleave), Jasmine Burdine (Biloxi), Annah Marshall(Lake Cormorant), Chloe Paske (St. Martin) and Emma Bahr (Ocean Springs) have chipped in valuable sets for the Wildcats this season.

Pearl River plays its first game as a ranked team on Tuesday as they host Pensacola Christian. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will be livestreamed on

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow them on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).