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Junior Alex Ferriouolo is settling quite nicely to her role as a defensive specialist while playing the libero position for the North Haven volleyball squad. (Photo courtesy of Alex Ferriouolo )
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Alex Ferriouolo has become a key member of North Haven volleyball team this season. Alex first signed up for the sport during her freshman year at high school. Now a junior, she is playing a major role on the defensive side of the net as the Indians’ starting libero.
“Last year for JV, halfway through the season, I got awarded libero. I never played it before that, so I was able to learn it through the JV team,” says Alex. “There was a lot of competition on the team this year for different spots, so I did a lot of practice in the offseason and gave it my best at tryouts, which paid off.”
Alex’s tenacity is one of her greatest strengths on the court. Alex does whatever she can to help North Haven succeed, including diving for the ball to prevent it from hitting from floor. She also speaks up to make sure that all of her teammates are on the same page.
“When I was first named libero to start this season, I was kind of quiet and trying to learn, but once the season kicked into gear, I became more confident on the court. We work a lot on having a positive attitude and giving 100 percent all the time,” Alex says. “As the libero, I’m keeping people involved, so I can help the team the best way I can. I’m able to be loud on the court. That’s my role, so everybody knows what is happening.”
Alex has learned a lot about how to play the libero position in a short amount of time. Through 14 matches this season, Alex has recorded 131 digs to go with 47 aces for the Indians.
“To me, being libero is as much about being a team player as it is passing. If you’re not up, the rest of the team isn’t going to stay up,” says Alex. “A big part of volleyball is keeping energy on our side. To me, that’s the big part of wearing a different color shirt.”
Head Coach Brianna Kleckner says that Alex is proving a huge asset for her squad this year. Kleckner appreciates Alex’s defensive abilities, as well as the attitude that she brings to each match and every practice.
“Alex has shown tremendous progress as she works very hard to improve her skillset,” Coach Kleckner says. “She is an active supporter of her peers, and we could not be more proud of her and the progress she has made.”
Aside from volleyball, Alex is also a member of North Haven’s softball program. Alex, who plays shortstop, helped the Indians win the SCC Tournament in her freshman season and then get back to the championship game this spring.
“I’m very quick to read whether the ball is going to be hit up the middle or in the [hole between third base and shortstop]. I can pick up the ball well, and I just have a smooth transition from fielding to throwing,” says Alex. “I’m strong during a double play and with tags. Basically, I’m good at the quickness of the position.”
Alex’s success in softball has motivated her to lead the volleyball team to those same winning ways. One of the most important things that Alex has learned on the volleyball court is to move on to the next play whenever something goes wrong.
“Volleyball is a quicker sport, so if you shank a ball, you have to shake it off right away and move on,” Alex says. “I was really bad at that. Every time I shanked a ball, I would get upset about it and hang my head. What I’ve learned is you have to move on quickly, and I’ve been able to do a better job of that.”
Alex knows that communication is a vital component for both of her teams. It’s a skill that Alex has developed throughout the course of her three years as an Indians’ athlete.
“I’m a quiet kid and always started out being a watcher. I would watch the upperclassmen and follow their lead,” says Alex. “Now that I’m an upperclassman, I take what they taught me and pass it down. Communication is learned, and now I’m able to be a leader.”
As Alex continues to improve as a libero, she’s also looking forward to her junior season on the softball field. No matter what sport she’s playing, Alex is going to continue giving it her all for the Indians.
“Always giving 100 percent keeps my head in the game and is a key to my success,” Alex says. “Without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
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