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College Volleyball Piece

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by fl2010, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. fl2010

    fl2010 New Member

    Here's my midweek story, focusing on some past and present milestones. The ones that have already happened got barely a line in the gamers due to the matches being away and not having quotes, etc. So it's not like repeating news. Felt like it was one of the better non-advance or gamer pieces I've had.

    I'm thankful in advance for any and all comments.
    Angie McGinnis may be a stellar setter, but when it comes to setting records, she's a little oblivious.

    The senior setter needs only 16 assists to become UF’s all-time assist leader, breaking Heidi Anderson’s 15-year-old record.

    When asked about it Tuesday, McGinnis said she didn’t even know she was close to breaking the record.

    The senior laughed as she acknowledged it would be bad for her team if she didn’t break the record this weekend, considering she has averaged 41.6 assists per match so far this season.

    “That’s a pretty awesome accomplishment,” McGinnis said. “But I mean, getting a chance to play for a great volleyball team and getting a chance to start all four years is the only reason that that’s happening.”

    McGinnis knows she’s come a long way from her freshman year, and as she looks to record her 4,856th assist, she attributes most of the change to boosts in strength and confidence.

    “I didn’t have the strength to push the ball from one side of the court to the other my freshman year necessarily,” McGinnis said. “And now I’m much more confident with it. I do a lot more, like taking a look at the other team’s blocks and trying to get our hitters one-on-one. I’ve kind of gone from a good set my freshman year to making all my sets good, to making them tricky and taking the other team out of their offense.”

    Considering the differences in play — back then points were only scored on serve, which made for longer games and therefore more assists — UF coach Mary Wise is impressed McGinnis has closed in on the mark.

    “It’s amazing — that was a statistic that was earned back in side-out scoring,” Wise said. “The game has changed in rally scoring. I wasn’t sure when Heidi set it that it would ever be broken. So to not only break it, but break it in rally scoring tells you just what a great setter that Angie has been for our program.”

    McGinnis isn’t the only UF player rewriting the history books.

    Elyse Cusack became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Week awards.

    The award is Cusack’s seventh league honor in just her second season, including five Defensive Player of The Week awards and two Freshman Player of the Week honors.

    The five defensive accolades are also the most by one player since the league began naming the award in 2003.

    The sophomore libero contributed a season-high 29 digs against Alabama on Sunday.

    Wise knows Cusack’s presence on the floor influences a match immensely.

    “As Elyse plays, so goes our team,” Wise said. “When she took her game to another level at Alabama, so did our team. She has the ability to really change an entire match. She’s so good that other teams have to really work hard in their entire offensive scheme on how to keep balls away from her. It’s the football player that you run an entire offense (where) all your plays are run on the other side of the field because you’re trying to stay away.”

    Kisya Killingsworth continues UF’s record-setting trend as well.

    The senior middle blocker recorded her 1,000th kill against LSU on Sept. 23. That made her the 15th player in school history to hit the millennium mark. With fellow senior Marcie Hampton already above the achievement, it marks the fifth time in UF history that the team has had two players on the roster with 1,000 kills.

    Not only has Killingsworth dominated in kills, but the senior also tallied her 300th career block Sunday against Alabama. She became the fifth player in school history to have 1,000 kills and 300 blocks.

    Wise noted the special nature of Killingsworth’s versatility.

    “None of those others had to do it at multiple positions,” Wise said. “Her ability to do that playing three different positions — what a great athlete Kisya is and has been.”

    Despite all the milestones being passed, Killingsworth said the team doesn’t focus too much on the individual achievements.

    “I think it’s awesome but … we’ll have bigger things to celebrate,” Killingsworth said. “Like if we win a national championship.”
  2. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting it, fl2010. Good piece. I just have some nit-picky edits. Hope they help, though.

    How many assists did Anderson have?

    I'd move the number of assists up near where you mention the record and end this sentence at "year." The rest is already in the quote.

    McGinnis is rewritng history, but this phrase is a little too strong for Cusack's achievement.

    Once again, I'd find a different way to phrase this. 1,000 kills is a milestone, not really a record.

    I'd break up and simplify the Killingsworth/Hampton thing; something to the tune of:

    Good stuff, especially for a midweek volleball advance. I read your articles from time to time, and I like your coverage. Keep it up.
  3. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Great advice from jlee. Follow it.

    I really liked this story. This is exactly what a mid-week feature-type story should be. The one thing that is missing is a little description.

    I would have really liked to read a description of McGinnis' face when you told her she was close to the record. Did she look surprised? Happy? Smiling? Thoughtful? Etc. Also, it would have been good to include what she is like on the court. This would probaby take seeing her in action and paying close attention to what she does when the ball is close to her, how she reacts after hitting, etc. The same could be said for the libero you wrote about.

    I hope I'm making sense here. Basically, as a reader that has never seen either of these players, help me see them at least a little bit.

    Other than that, really good stuff.
  4. too much setting in the lede...don't know about stellar
  5. fl2010

    fl2010 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the advice. It's some good stuff.

    gand - the desk rewrote my lead, perhaps they liked the play on words.

    Mine was more simplistic I guess - my lede was originally going to be milestones in generally until I talked to Angie and she had not the faintest idea of the record. So I'd written:
    "Angie McGinnis almost became UF’s all-time assist leader without even knowing it."
  6. the one you wrote was better. f-cking editors...hope all is well
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    You've already received some pretty good advice. I don't like your lede and I hate the desk's take but ledes are different for everyone.

    My advice is this: Use your quotes to punctuate your words. Look at Angie's longest quote, for example. It's a good quote, but you only need a little of it. Probably only the last sentence. The rest…paraphrase. Turn it into narration and think about the implication of what she's saying. Right? Here's a rough idea:

    McGinnis knows she’s come a long way from her freshman year, and as she looks to record her 4,856th assist, she attributes most of the change to boosts in strength and confidence.

    As a freshman, she didn't have the strength to set the ball across the court and create the best opportunities for her hitters. Now, she's savvy enough to read an opponent's blocking scheme and route her sets around it, so the Gators get more one-on-one attacks.

    "I’ve kind of gone from a good set my freshman year to making all my sets good, to making them tricky and taking the other team out of their offense,” McGinnis said.

    Now you're saying what she's saying in a way that makes the reader go "oh, she's like a good point guard." Which she is.

    And you said it in a few less words than what you had with the giant quote.
  8. fl2010

    fl2010 New Member

    alma - yeah I'm not saying my lede was anything great, but I was disappointed to see the desk change it to something worse.

    And I definitely see what you mean - I guess I wanted to put it more in her words, because I didn't want make it to sound like I've been around to observe her all 4 years, because this is my first season covering the team (student paper, beats change each semester).
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