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Spikers' gamble pays off in league win



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October 20, 2010 - Junior Gianna Locricchio stood near the back of the court with the volleyball positioned on one hand in the Lady Wolves' first set against Troy Athens.

Her other hand stayed poised and ready as she threw the ball up into the air. It came down and she hit it over the net.

Locricchio served the ball 17 more times, getting 18 points in a roll, leading the girls first win for the night, 25-7.

Clarkston went on to win the next two sets 25-17 and 25-15 to beat the Lady Red Hawks, 3-0.

"Gianna serving 18 balls in a roll is amazing and never happens," said Girls Volleyball Varsity Coach Kelly Avenall.

"It's another league win for us, which is good," Avenall continued. "We tried different things tonight and experimented. The girls responded well to it. They were excited to try new things."

The first game against Troy-Athens was quick as the girls added points to the scoreboard to finish their opponents off.

By the time the third set started the Lady Red Hawks had figured out Clarkston and took control of the board.

Alexis Egler answered hitting a few kills and bringing the Lady Wolves back into the lead where they needed to be.

"Alexis is swinging well right now," said Avenall. "I told the girls the other day if she isn't getting better we need to be feeding her the ball."

Avenall saw improvement over the team's performance over the last few weeks.

"We had a couple weeks we were just skating by and letting teams we normally play better than, we let them play with us instead of being aggressive," she said. "This week they stepped up."

Maddie Lightfoot had 22 digs. Egler had seven kills and Locricchio had four aces.

The girls competed in the Beast of the East tournament in Warren during the weekend. They faced the top Michigan teams to prepare for the playoffs coming at the beginning of November.

"They are getting fired and pumped up for the end of the season," said Avenall. "It will definitely help us for the finals."

The girls competed against Lake Orion on Tuesday in their final league match and host West Bloomfield on Thursday night.

Then, they get ready for the OAA Quad they are hosting next Wednesday.

The game against the Lady Lakers begins with JV at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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