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Volleyball Gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by deviljets7, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. deviljets7

    deviljets7 Member

    This is a volleyball gamer but in some ways, it is also a bit of a feature story. All critiques are appreciated and welcome. Thanks.

    SECAUCUS - This is the Patriots' time.

    No. 3-seeded Secaucus, two-time defending Group I champion, started the run for a three-peat, registering a convincing 25-13, 25-7 victory over No. 14-seeded Verona yesterday in the second round of the group tourney in Secaucus.

    "It's a brand new season," senior Elise Lennon said. "We play every game and we know that we have to go undefeated in order to win the state championship."

    It was Lennon who led the the charge for the Patriots' win on this day.

    Lennon was dominant on her serves, registering 13 service points along with three aces. When Secaucus (20-2) reeled off 17 consecutive points in the second game, it was Lennon who was serving with both power and accuracy. At one point in the second game, the Hillbillies' Julia Ermatinger had to shake her hands to relieve the sting of returning one of Lennon's serves, a serve that has improved as the season has gone along.

    "Elise came into this season with a great serve and we worked on a lot of things to make it a little harder and closer to the net so it was harder for other people to hit," Secaucus coach Tiffany Aciz said. "She came in today and executed it beautifully. Today she really showed how hard and how much body and power she can put into it."

    Lennon also credits a pre-serve ritual for her success. Before every serve she cleans off her shoes and both pairs of socks on her legs. After that she bounces the ball four times, dribles it twice and spins it before she's ready to begin.

    "I have my little superstition," Lennon explains. "I have to do the same thing every time I serve. I guess that keeps my mind set there."

    Lennon also added a team-high eight digs and five kills in the victory. Alexis Waters had 13 service points of her own to go along with five digs. Monica Dempsey contributed nine assists, six digs and five kills. Jenna Totaro added eight assists, six kills and four digs.

    The Patriots had a less than ideal start to their season, losing their first two matches. Not only has Secaucus rebounded from the two losses, winning 20 in a row since then, but the Pats have learned from their start. Aciz believes the early struggles might have proven to be beneficial.

    "We learned quickly and early on what we needed to work on and change to make ourselves better," Aciz said. "I think that if we didn't have that opportunity, that maybe us moving forward would have gone a lot slower."

    The Patriots are aware of the expectations that come with their record and thier history. A reminder of their past accomplishments - nine Group I championships in the last 12 years - are visible on the red signs of the gym's wall facing the court they call home. If the players are intimidated by the history, they didn't show it on this day.

    "I think it adds excitement," Aciz said. "It's something for the girls to look forward to. It's their main goal all season and I feel like that's some of the reason why they want to play volleyball."

    Secaucus is scheduled to play in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
  2. You don't need to say "in Seacaucus" because your dateline tells the reader the match was played there.

    "Lennon led the Patriots' charge." The other words are extraneous. The sentence is passive.

    Keeping track of service points often is overrated in volleyball. A lot of the times it's used by coaches and/or statisticians who don't know how to keep the relevant stats. If one rally features seven digs, eight attacks and six sets, should the server really the credit? If you add one to her "service point" total, it implies she did something important when perhaps she did not.

    Earlier in this story, you wrote about Ms. Lennon serving 17-straight points. You credited her serve and had a good observation with the opponent shaking her hands from the sting. In this instance, it sure seems the service points were earned. In the future, give servers credit for aces or write about how the other team consistently was unable to get its passes inside the 10-foot line. When that happens, it's harder for the team to get good attacks. When a team is sending a bunch of free balls over the net, it could be a sign of successful, aggressive serving by the other team.

    In summary, abandon the term "service points" in volleyball game stories.

    Don't use "...on this day." It's wrong because the event actually was the day before.

    When writing postseason game stories, you should always get the next game, opponent, and time near the top of the story. It often is the most important information in the story.
  3. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    Thanks for posting.

    I'm not going to begin to pretend I understand a damn thing about volleyball. Any technical questions, I go to my finacee. I do know it is a great spectator sport (i.e. spandex shorts). :)

    Anyway, FireJimTressel.com had some good points and follow those. I'll do what I can do piggyback on what he already said.

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