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Long term commitment does not affect undefeated season

Despite an undefeated West Sierra League season thus far, the volleyball players are varied in their commitment to their sport. Dana Richardson, ’02, who led the team with aces against Laton on Oct. 18, may not play volleyball after her senior season.

However, more than seven colleges are pursuing Amber Dragoo, ’02, in hopes of landing the senior for next year’s college season.

Richardson is a defense specialist. Her older sister, Dawn, who played volleyball on campus four years ago, introduced her to volleyball. Richardson has been playing volleyball for six years and lettered two years on varsity.

In her sophomore year, Richarson lead her junior varsity team as captain. She received MVP and the volleyball players honored her with the Eagle’s award. Last year she received the coach’s award for varsity. Motivation for Richardson is one that athletes should recognize.

“I give my all in volleyball,” Richardson said, “God wants us to do our best in everything we do. My main goal for this year is to play my best and have fun.”

Richardson said she is focusing how to stay focused throughout the whole game.
Richardson plans on attending Fresno State or Fresno Pacific for college and is not planning in playing volleyball for any college.

Dragoo, a four-year lettered varsity, starts as the team’s outside hitter. She has made playing volleyball a full-time affair. While living in San Francisco, she played for San Ann, Holy Name, Griffin and Golden Bear volleyball clubs. Then she movedto Fresno and plugged in with San Joaquin Memorial, campus varsity and Sports City Club volleyball teams.

In her nine years playing volleyball, she has received many awards. Recent ones include MVP, Best Offensive Hitter (two years in a row), First Team All-League, and MVP Tournament.

“My goal,” Dragoo, said, “this year is to win Valley and possibly state in our division.”
Dragoo does not know which college she will attend, but she knows for sure she will be playing volleyball in whatever college she joins.

“I love it (volleyball),” Dragoo said, “I eat it, breath it, dream about it and its my life.”
Dragoo pushes herself hard every day for volleyball and does not mind getting exhausted or sweaty for her sport.

“My love for the sport makes me give my all,” Dragoo said.
She has been playing volleyball since her third grade year at Catholic school. Dragoo said she just wanted to try volleyball out. So she went out for the team and volleyball has been on the top of her list since then.

“They have intense focus and determination and ability to adjust to conquer any foe,”
coach Larry Orrender, said of both Richardson and Dragoo.

Erica McIntyre, ’04, has attended every home volleyball game and agreed with coach Orrender.

“I can never stop going,” McIntyre said, “because I’m their number one fan? I love watching those girls play volleyball.”

Volleyball is currently 14-3 and 9-0 in the West Sierra League. In the recent Buchanan High Tournament, the girls captured third in the Silver Division. The girls’ next home game is on Oct. 23 against Riverdale.

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