Firestone volleyball coach Stacey McMillan-Myers shared three goals with her players earlier this week ahead of Thursday’s match at Buchtel.
McMillan-Myers encouraged her players to be consistent with their energy level, consistent with their execution and consistent with their discipline.
The Falcons players checked all three goals off by defeating Buchtel in three sets in a showdown of the top teams in the City Series.
Firestone won the first set 25-14, the second set 25-12 and the third set 26-24.
Si’Ayera Boone, Josey Capper, Alison Zupancic and Emani Myers led Firestone (6-2, 5-0) to the victory, and gave Buchtel (8-1, 4-1) its first loss.
“These girls continue to show me that they have an unquenchable spirit to excel and do better on the court each time,” McMillan-Myers said. “Each set, even through all this heat and humidity in here, they just fought and stayed focused and were consistent with their energy, consistent with their execution and consistent with their discipline ”
Boone, a senior, contributed 19 kills, eight service aces and three blocks.
“We tried not to get in our heads too much about this one because we know there are always a lot of people in the crowd at Buchtel,” said Zupancic, a junior who totaled 24 assists, six kills, five digs and four service aces.
“We always try to keep it within ourselves and control what we can control.”
The Falcons did not trail in the first two sets, and overcame an 18-13 deficit in the third set to triumph.
“We worked really hard and kept fighting,” said Capper, a senior who had 10 service points. “I think in the last set we worked even harder to maintain our score and stay on top.”
Freshman Emani Myers — the coach’s daughter — had six kills, 10 service points and four aces. She helped Firestone lead 8-0 in the second set as the server.
“I have been watching for awhile and I am very excited to be in the game, and I am glad I get to play with these people,” Emani Myers said.
McMillan-Myers left the gym as a proud mother and said: “I like how she is stepping up. She is growing. There is a lot of pressure being with all the upperclassmen, but they have embraced her and helped support her.”
Firestone also received solid contributions from seniors Maria White, Maliyah Ramsey and Nicaela Kehner and freshman Mariska Capper.
“All of us came together and played well,” Boone said. “We didn’t get down and we didn’t give up.”
Junior Makayla Wilkins and sophomore Leah Cheatham each had five kills for Buchtel. Wilkins also had five blocks and junior Tia Williams had 12 assists.
“There is a lot that we still need to work on as far our serve receive and keeping our energy up,” said Buchtel coach LaCresia Beecher, who said she is confident her team will bounce back.
Michael Beaven can be reached at email@example.com.