By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The year 2020 has helped many people across the world adjust priorities in life.
Things that were a given just 12 months ago are now appreciated more and cherished. Last Thursday night in the William Osteen Gymnasium, the Millington Lady Trojan Volleyball program recognized seniors Emma Speight, Ally Marona and Avery Smith. Then Millington Head Coach Abigail Wade turned the spotlight on District 15-2A rival the Fayette-Ware Lady Wildcats’ seniors.
Wade called out their names to applause from the spectators and they were given flowers. But that ended the Lady Trojans hospitality for the night. Millington proceeded to take care of business locking up the No. 2 seed in the league winning 25-6, 25-12 and 25-8.
“We’ve grown a lot because at the beginning of the season, a lot of us haven’t played together,” Marona noted. “We’re pretty much a whole new team besides me, Avery, Abbie Gallo and Savannah Spearman. That’s just about it from last year that made the court.”
Smith said the win over Fayette-Ware illustrates the continue growth of the Lady Trojans toward a possible District 15-2A title.
“I think we’re definitely a lot stronger this year,” she said. “Covington has won district the past two years. I definitely wanted us to comeback and beat Covington this year.”
Covington is the only district foe to capture a win over Millington in 2020. The Lady Chargers were down 2 sets at Millington before coming back to win the next three sets.
That defeat got the Lady Trojans refocused to take care of business down the stretch. In the opening set the star of the game was underclassman Emily Denson. She got comfortable behind the service line with 22 straight points. Throughout that run by Denson, there was a mixture of her aces, hits by Speight and kills by Marona.
The second set Millington jumped out 9-1 with scores by Savannah Spearman and aces by Smith. Later in the frame Abbie Gallo slapped down a spike to make the tally 15-4. The Lady Trojans outscored Fayette-Ware 10-8 down the stretch to prevail 25-12.
In the final set of the night, Lady Trojan Kaira Lopez was the unsung hero starting off with an ace helping Millington jump ahead 4-0.
Moments later the rotation allowed Lopez to serve one more ace to end the game 25-8.
The sweep was the ideal ending for the trio of Millington seniors. All three girls said enduring a global pandemic has taught them important life lessons.
“Enjoy it the most you can,” Speight said, “we’ve become best friends out there on the court.”
Speight and her fellow seniors said the unity will help with the new rotation and better communication to have a shot at beating Covington.
Smith said dethroning the Lady Chargers would added to the already special 2020 campaign.
I think these memories are amazing. If I wasn’t out there on that court playing, I don’t know where I would have been making the memories we’ve made this year. I’m really proud of this team.”
Marona said overcoming so much adversity to reach this point of the season is a blessing.
“What I’ve definitely learned from this season don’t take it for granted,” she said. “I did lose the softball season last year. And even now softball season is stretchy.
“To get to play volleyball my senior season, I won’t take that for granted,” Marona concluded. “We’ve had a lot of fun. Even though we started late and had to play catch up especially to Covington. But we’ve just bonded as a team because it and it’s made us stronger.”