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Stephenson volleyball setting high standards for program
by Marcel Pourtout
September 25, 2013 01:21 PM | 2590 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
Stephenson senior Kiana Stone gets under the ball during practice last week.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Stephenson senior Kiana Stone gets under the ball during practice last week.
The Stephenson volleyball program hasn’t had much success in the past few seasons, with only one winning season since 2006 when the Jaguars won 18 matches in 2012. However, with a senior-laden team and a transition within the coaching staff, Stephenson have already won 16 matches, including 13 within its region, placing the Jaguars in an excellent position to do well in the area tournament and later in the postseason.

“The season has been going pretty good and we have a veteran group of players with us,” Stephenson head coach Dennis Watkins said. “The expectations have become higher for us and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Some of the major contributors to the success of the Jaguars program the last two seasons have been outside hitters Kiara Stone and Kiana Stone, along with defensive specialist Nadaysia Brooks.

Stephenson has earned wins over top-level teams such as Tucker and Redan this season and also gained impressive victories against teams outside of its county.

“It was good playing teams from Fulton and Clayton counties earlier in the year because it provided us with tough competition,” Brooks said.

“We’re trying to get to the level of teams like Lakeside, Dunwoody and Tucker,” Watkins said. “We have to keep working hard and on our fundamentals because the volleyball in DeKalb is good and competitive with talented players.”

Stephenson knows that the final evaluation on the success of the team will largely fall on the upperclassmen.

“We’ve been good because we seniors know what’s at stake and that this is our last go around,” Kiana Stone said. “We want to go all the way and win state.”

“We’ve only been able to make it to the first round of the playoffs in the past,” said Brooks, who has been a varsity member since ninth grade. “We want to make it beyond that and it would be great.”

The Jaguars return to action on Sept. 26 at Chamblee.

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