Southfield A&T coach Alisha Love directs her team against Harrison. At press time, the Warriors were 3-10 overall and 1-6 in the OAA White.

Southfield A&T coach Alisha Love directs her team against Harrison. At press time, the Warriors were 3-10 overall and 1-6 in the OAA White.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Southfield A & T volleyball focused on trust

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published October 16, 2018

 Southfield A&T senior outside hitter Krista Blakely goes up to spike the ball in a match against Farmington Hills Harrison earlier this season. Blakely is one of three seniors on the team.

Southfield A&T senior outside hitter Krista Blakely goes up to spike the ball in a match against Farmington Hills Harrison earlier this season. Blakely is one of three seniors on the team.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

SOUTHFIELD — Trust has become a major focus for the Southfield A&T volleyball team throughout the season. 

Warriors coach Alisha Love knows her team has the talent to compete with top teams in the state, but getting her players to trust each other on the court is a big key to playing deep into the postseason. 

“Talent is their strength,” Love said. “Just trying to formulate it consistently is what I’m working on right now.” 

One of the leaders who has helped the Warriors stay focused and prepared for the late stages of the season is senior outside hitter Krista Blakely. 

Like the coaching staff, Blakely knows how much potential the team has, and as a senior leader, she is doing everything she can to help the team reach its max potential. She is one of three seniors on the team, so her leadership and experience have been critical for such a young squad.  

“I just bring my knowledge of the game, and what I’ve learned over four years and playing club (volleyball) to them,” Blakely said. “I also bring my leadership skills to them because most of them are younger. There’s only three seniors on the team, so I just find it really important to set the standard of what the whole program should be after we leave.” 

At press time, the Warriors were 3-10 overall and 1-6 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. However, wins and losses aren’t everything for the coaching staff. 

For Alisha Love and assistant coach Amanda Love, helping the girls grow in the classroom and in the community is just as important as putting together wins on the court. 

“It’s a great feeling to actually coach young women and see their growth and their maturity. Not just in volleyball, but academically,” Alisha Love said. “Your older players, your veteran players, they keep me posted on behavior, grades and that kind of thing. We work as a unit and I really, really love that, because one common goal for all of us, coaches and teachers, is to put our kids in the best position possible to be successful.” 

Of course, for any team, winning is fun and that is a goal. Getting the program back to a winning culture is something the coaching staff is striving for. 

For the seniors, going out with a district title would be special and would create a standard for the younger players coming up. 

“That would mean so much. I really want it to happen, but I’m going to be proud with whatever we do,” Blakely said. 

The Warriors’ next match is at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Pontiac High.