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Ready to lead

As she enters her senior year, Aubrey volleyball player Micayla Porter is prepared to step up as a team leader and lead the Lady Chaparrals deep into the playoffs.

Porter, who also is a powerlifter, takes developing her leadership qualities seriously.

“I go to speak with a sports psychologist every once in a while, and I read books written by coaches about leadership. It really helps me go on the court and encourage people,” Porter said.

Porter already is getting attention for her level of play. She was a District 9-4A first-team all-district selection in 2015, averaging 20 assists and 8 kills per match for the Lady Chaparrals.

She also was invited to participate in the 2015 USA Volleyball National A2. USAV invites the country’s top volleyball players to the national event, giving them the opportunity to work with high-performance coaches in a competitive setting.

In her first year as a powerlifter last year, Porter qualified for regionals, much to her surprise.

“I hit a bunch of personal records that I’ve never done before. That was exciting, and that is what got me to regionals,” Porter said.

“It was something new. Not a lot of girls are really interested in this kind of sport, and it’s something I really like.”

Porter has been team captain of her volleyball club teams since she was 14. She said she’s ready to accept her leadership role for the Aubrey team as well.

“I’ve had tons of training being a leader. I’ve been captain of my team and starting setter. I’m going to take those things and use it to motivate me to be the leader of the team,” Porter said.

The role of the setter is much like the role of a quarterback, Porter said.

“We’re like the quarterback of the volleyball team,” she said. “I have to keep my calm, even when the game is not going our way; I have to get the team back on track. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years, so I’m always happy to take on that role.”

The Lady Chaparrals went 20-18 in 2015. Off-the-court distractions played a key role in the team’s chemistry and production, Porter said.

“We’re high school girls; it’s going to happen but we can’t let it get to us on the volleyball court and I think it did sometimes,” she said. “It was still a good season. I thought we all got better and closer. I hope that carries into this season.”

Donna Martin, who’s in charge of the summer skills program that Porter attends, thinks this year can be very successful for the Lady Chaps. Porter agrees with that prediction.

“From the looks of all the girls that have been showing up, everyone is putting in the work, wanting to get better and really trying,” Porter said. “That’s the most important thing for us to have a strong season. People have to actually want to put in the work.

“I think [Martin’s] totally right and with her and coach Deaver’s help, I think we can really go deep in the playoffs and have a good season.”

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