Hilmar High varsity volleyball won’t forget the fall of 2018. The 2018 Yellowjacket volleyball team was the first squad in program history to win a section title and reach the state finals in the same year.
For these reasons it is safe to say that Hilmar anchored the Journal’s best squad this fall and with it the player of the year in Mikela Labno, who was a catalyst for the Yellowjackets this past fall season.
Labno earned the honors of the 2018 Turlock Journal Player of the Year with her head coach Patti Harris earning Coach of the Year honors.
“It was memorable for many reasons,” said Harris. “The fact that we are the Nor Cal champs and went to the state final. Historical for our school and secondly, that I had both my daughters Madison and Riley as my assistant coaches this year. We had so much fun with this group of girls.”
Hilmar volleyball has won two section titles consecutively and Labno was a big difference maker for both seasons.
Hilmar volleyball closed out their best season to-date this fall with an overall record of 35-13, while they handled their league foes once again, going a perfect 12-0.
They finished the year ranked No. 145 in California and carried a five-game winning streak heading into the postseason and from there they rolled.
In four Sac-Joaquin Section playoff games, Hilmar didn’t drop a single set in the Division-IV bracket.
They won four consecutive games in straight sets, earning their second D-IV SJS banner after winning it the previous year.
It also marked the sixth consecutive season that Hilmar volleyball reached the SJS finale (D-IV).
Leading the offensive prowess was Labno, an outside hitter standing over 6-foot, who was atop the team’s standings in multiple categories. Labno was first in kills with 521 in 134 sets played. She was third in aces (50), third in blocks (75) and even tallied 234 digs.
Following an impressive section title run, Hilmar embarked on their best year ever and it kicked off with a CIF state game against Salinas’ private all-girls school Notre Dame, which proved to be their closest match in nearly a month, winning 3-2.
Hilmar followed with back-to-back state wins and reached the CIF D-IV state final against San Luis Obispo back on Nov. 17, where they fell, 3-2.
All-Area/All-Journal Volleyball Team
Player of the Year: Mikela Labno (Hilmar)
Coach of the year: Patti Harris (Hilmar)
Jazmyn Tubbs, outside hitter
Emma Hirschkorn, right side
Maddie Hall, libero
Liv Peterson, middle blocker
Emily Vander Weide, outside hitter
Mary Padilla, outside hitter
Haley Freeman, setter
Julia Gonsalves, libero
Emma Martin, setter
Makayla Fontes, libero
Kayley Souza, outside hitter
Cierra Verdone, outside hitter
Avery Carlson, outside hitter
Ava Chiesa, outside hitter
Madi King, middle blocker
Sarah Romo, setter
Sydney Mensonides, outside hitter
Senior, Turlock Christian
Mariana Lopez, middle blocker
Adriana Snyder, setter