Ferndale High volleyball players and coach Stella Johnstone celebrate after winning a district championship against Detroit Communication Media Arts Nov. 8. Ferndale won back-to-back district championships for the first time in more than 15 years with its victory.

Ferndale High volleyball players and coach Stella Johnstone celebrate after winning a district championship against Detroit Communication Media Arts Nov. 8. Ferndale won back-to-back district championships for the first time in more than 15 years with its victory.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Ferndale High volleyball season closes at regional level

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published November 18, 2019

FERNDALE — Ferndale High volleyball concluded its season with a 3-0 loss against Warren Regina in a Division 2 regional semifinal Nov. 13 at St. Clair Shores South Lake.

Prior to that, Ferndale won the program’s second consecutive district championship with a 3-2 victory against Detroit Communication Media Arts Nov. 8.

Before this year, the Eagles hadn’t won two consecutive district titles since the program accomplished the feat in both 1999 and 2000.

“As a whole, I’m really proud of the … girls and the amount of teamwork and collaboration that the team has done this past season,” Ferndale coach Stella Johnstone said.

Despite the opportunity to celebrate another district championship, from Johnstone’s perspective, the team was capable of advancing even further this year. Having the season end sooner than she would have liked could be used as a learning lesson going forward.

“It’s a matter of who wants it most,” Johnstone said. “So we (need to) make sure our desire matches our hustle.”

Aside from helping to secure another postseason title for the program, there were other things for Johnstone to like about the squad she was able to work with this year.

“I’m most pleased with the team camaraderie because the girls really do look out for each other,” Johnstone said. “They have each other’s backs; they pick each other up. They help each other out on the court, give each other tips (and) what not.”

Johnstone completed her second season as Ferndale’s coach.

What the Eagles have accomplished over the past couple of years can have an impact that extends beyond the court.

“I would say that the community is much more aware of our program now more than ever just because we have won back-to-back district titles,” Johnstone said. “But also because our community’s getting so much more involved with supporting us.”

What Ferndale has going for its program can help make a coach’s job a more rewarding one.

“The girls that we do have, they love the sport,” Johnstone said. “They’re hungry to get better. … They really, really want it.”