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Talking it over with Coach Demetria Keys-Johnson Johnson

By Kaci A. Chairs
On September 29, 2021

Demetria Keys-Johnson is entering her seventh season as Grambling State University’s head Women’s Volleyball Coach after serving as assistant coach at GSU for six years prior. 

No stranger to GSU Volleyball and the SWAC, Johnson was a member of Grambling's triple championship volleyball team (’95, ’96, ’97), so she knows exactly what it takes to be successful. 

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan by her parents, Mary and Charles Keys, Johnson prides her team’s culture as family oriented and closely bonded. 

“We love team bonding, even outside of volleyball,” Johnson said. 

Johnson focuses on her players holistically, demanding excellence both academically and athletically. 

Johnson maintains this success having graduated all of her former players. 

Prior to the season kickoff, Johnson, a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, hosted a camp which also serves as a mentorship during the summer months. 

This allows young aspiring volleyball players to learn new skills and gain the needed confidence to potentially take their skills to the next level. 

During the camp, the Lady Tigers engage in mentoring, bonding and setting team goals for the upcoming season. 

The Tigers have gone 3-8 so far this season with 16 games left on the schedule. 

GSU volleyball home game season opener versus Centenary College September seventh, was a great way to start the season and a huge win for the program, with a 3-1 defeat. 

The Grambling State Lady Tigers volleyed their way back into the winning column with an impressive sweep against Jarvis Christian College, Sept. 14. The Lady Tigers will travel to Shreveport for another chance to defeat Centenary College before opening SWAC play Sept. 27 in H.O. Clemmons Arena taking on Arkansas-Pine Bluff. 

The Lady Tigers followed at home versus Northwestern State Sept. 8, and fell short in a thrilling 2-3 loss to the Lady Demons. 

The Lady Tigers wrap up their season at home in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center November 15, versus Texas Southern, a SWAC opponent. 

As with any sport, mental toughness and self control is a necessity. 

“In volleyball if you lose control emotionally, you fall away from your skillset, you have to stay focused to bounce back, and we didn’t do that,” Johnson said of the early season losses.

Johnson emphasized the importance of defence. 

“To progress this year we need to work on completing our cycles and just being disciplined on defense,” Johnson said.

Coach Demetria Keys-Johnson




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