When it comes to Livonia’s volleyball-playing Facione cousins, the “D” in their DNA could stand for defense.
In fact, Wednesday night’s crosstown rivalry match between Churchill and Franklin probably lasted longer than it would have without each team’s court-covering libero – Churchill junior Alyssa Facione and Franklin sophomore Bella Facione, both of whom contributed a series of point-extending digs during the Chargers’ three-set victory.
During a post-game meeting, the defense-loving relatives shared smiles and laughs while holding a sign that read: “Facione Is Italian For Defense”.
Both players said they were extra-excited about facing a member of their family.
“Obviously, it’s going to push me to do a little better because she’s a sophomore and I’m a junior and I can’t let her outwork me,” Alyssa Facione said, smiling.
“This was awesome tonight,” Bella added. “We had one side of the family on one side of the gym, the other side on that side.”
Surprisingly, the two cousins had never played against one another – not even at a family reunion – prior to Wednesday.
“Her serve-receive was insane,” Alyssa said of her younger cousin’s defense. “She kept a lot of points alive.”
It was love at first dig for both cousins once they started playing volleyball in middle school.
Coincidentally, they both evolved into defensive dynamos.
“I love diving,” Alyssa said, when asked what she likes best about playing defense. “Plus, I’m too short to play front row.”