Southfield A&T junior Nefertari Haralson slams home a shot during a recent practice. The Warriors are young and in a new division, but coach Alisha Love believes positive gains can be made.

Southfield A&T junior Nefertari Haralson slams home a shot during a recent practice. The Warriors are young and in a new division, but coach Alisha Love believes positive gains can be made.

Photo by Sean Work


Southfield A&T volleyball welcomes familiar coach

By: Edward Zilincik | Southfield Sun | Published August 29, 2018

 Southfield A&T coach Alisha Love speaks with some of her players during a recent practice. Formerly the coach at Southfield High, Love led the Blue Jays to multiple division titles.

Southfield A&T coach Alisha Love speaks with some of her players during a recent practice. Formerly the coach at Southfield High, Love led the Blue Jays to multiple division titles.

Photo by Sean Work

The Southfield A&T volleyball team is welcoming a familiar face to lead the program this season. Coach Alisha Love is back in the school, her first year coaching in Southfield since her daughter graduated from Southfield High in 2012. 

During her stint at Southfield High, Love was the coach at Livonia Clarenceville for 17 seasons.

From the time in between her last stint in Southfield and now, Love coached at the middle school level at Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy.

“I’m excited to be back here in Southfield,” said Love. “There is great unity at this school, with a great administration and great parents and fans.”

Love feels that Southfield is home for her, so when the opportunity to coach the volleyball team was made available, she jumped at the chance. 

Along with her anticipation for her return to Southfield, Love feels the coaching staff that she has assembled is going to improve the Warrior program. 

“We have Amanda Love, who is an Olympic alternate and played professionally in Finland,” said Love of her daughter. “We also have Lisa Butler, who has had an outstanding career in volleyball.”

One interesting detail that could come out of this season is a matchup with her son. Love’s son, Mike Love, is the coach at Farmington Hills Harrison.

Love taught her son coming up on the correct aspects of the game in her opinion, which she feels has helped him at his job as coach of Harrison. Mike Love was also an assistant for his mom before getting the job at Harrison. 

As for Alisha Love’s current team, the Warriors have their work cut out for them in 2018. 

“The cupboard is pretty bare going into this season,” said Love. “We graduated nine seniors from the 2017 team, and we were moved up a division (to the Oakland Activities Association White Division) because of last year’s success.

“We definitely expect this to be a rebuilding year. We are going to take our lumps this year.”

The Warriors are only returning three seniors, with two out of the three being starters.

Despite Love understanding that her first year back on the sideline will be a formidable task for her and her players, she is making no exceptions for what she wants to see this season. 

“My job is to be strong and develop these girls,” said Love. “I want to make sure that they understand the game and play hard.”

Love has a coaching style and mindset that could be described as more adversarial as opposed to player friendly. She hopes that this season she will be able to get her players adjusted to learning and improving in the game of volleyball.

“It’s not my job to be liked,” said Love. “I hope I would be respected by my players for helping them improve.”

Love has a long-term outlook on the program. Every coach hopes to win matches and titles, but Love hopes her program has a certain set of values for all of the students she will coach.

“I want my program to be strong, self taught, hard-working and consistent,” said Love. “If I stepped away, I hope it would be just as strong as when I was here; that’s what I’m hoping for.”