(Iron County) Viburnum High School senior Katelee Payne hit a career milestone on the volleyball court this season, but she didn’t get to celebrate her accomplishment in the moment. Payne recently collected her 1,500th career kill. According to the Missouri State High School Activities Association, she is just the 9th player ever to eclipse that number.
Payne only realized she hit that mark when she was recounting her numbers.
Payne was on the Blue Jay varsity team for four years. She says her skills began to take shape following her freshman season.
Payne is cousins with Lesterville grad, and current Mineral Area College volleyball player, Reese Gray. Gray is Missouri’s all-time kill leader with 2,056 kills.
The Viburnum High School volleyball team improved their win total from five to 17 year-over-year from last season. Payne tells us about some of the other girls that helped the Blue Jays have success this year.
Payne has been playing sports with a lot of her teammates for a long time. And she’s been coached by Brooke Harris in both volleyball and basketball for a while now.
Harris is also in her first year as Athletic Director at Viburnum.
With graduation coming in May, Payne has been applying to a lot of colleges with the hope of continuing to play volleyball at the next level.
Payne wanted to give some shout-outs to her friends and family.
Katelee Payne has 1,523 career kills, putting her at 9th on Missouri’s all-time list, but that does not include her freshman season. She says she is trying to track down her stats from freshman year, meaning she could keep rising up the list.
Viburnum’s season came to an end in the Class One District Six quarterfinals in a three-set loss to Bismarck last Thursday. The Blue Jays had a record of 17-9-2 this year.
Full interview (recorded the morning of 10/19/23):