AOW: With stellar week, Johnston continues to impress

October 30, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

For four seasons the Holtville High volleyball team has been one of the most successful in the Imperial Valley.

For four seasons Mykell Johnston has anchored the Vikings' back row and has quietly become one of the best in the Valley at her position. Johnston's consistent play and Holtville's success have virtually gone hand-and-hand.

As a back-row player Johnson doesn't get the credit that other players get, but Johnston is a huge reason for Holtville's success. She is undoubtedly the team's backbone.

Last week the 17-year-old senior was again on top of her game, leading the Vikings to two Imperial Valley League wins and a 3-2 mark in the Mira Mesa tournament in San Diego.

On Oct. 23 she finished with nine points and two kills in leading Holtville to a 3-0 sweep of Calexico, avenging a loss earlier in the year.


"Because we lost to them the first time we played at the beginning of the year, we really wanted that win back," said Johnston. "I think that loss gave us some motivation and I really expected us to play better than we did the first time. The first time we played them we really didn't play as well as we would've liked, but this last time the whole team played up to its ability."

With momentum from the Calexico win, Johnston was a one-person wrecking crew against Central Union on Thursday, finishing with 26 points, eight aces and five kills as the Vikings swept the Spartans.

She followed that performance by recording 25 service points in five matches at the Mira Mesa tournament, helping the Vikings take eighth place among 33 teams.

While she is more than deserving of accolades for the team's success, Johnson doesn't attribute what the team has accomplished to herself.

"This team has just played really great defense. The whole team is defending serves and is just playing awesome," said Johnston. "We have a lot of really good all-around team players that are helping this team come together.

"We have really good team chemistry and over the past two weeks we've been playing the way we've been wanting to play. So right now, I think this team has what it takes to do well the rest of the season and go deep in the CIF playoffs."

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