by Duane Cochran for FightingFalcons.com
Leslie Giordon has an infectious personality and her Fairmont State University volleyball teammates love her for that.
The talented FSU junior right side hitter from Medina, Ohio lives her life with a strong sense of gusto for pretty much everything she does.
“She's loud,” said fellow junior Bri Swann. “When she's in a room you know it. And her laugh. If you're in a crowded room and she's laughing you know it's her. She's a pretty positive, upbeat person and that tends to keep us pretty loose and relaxed on this team.
“She's also kind of our social director. She loves games, especially card games. She's always looking for a card game. In fact, she travels with cards.”
Pinochle, euchre and kemps are some of her favorites just to name a few.
“I do love cards because they're fun,” said Giordon. “I think my love of cards comes from my 84-year-old grandmother Elba who taught me to play pinochle and other games when I was young. She still has her little group of ladies who come to the house and play cards which I think is adorable.”
Make no mistake, though, Giordon doesn't just play anything for fun be it cards or volleyball.
“Leslie is very competitive,” said Swann. “Her confidence level has really gone up here the past two years in terms of her play on the court and that's really helped her to develop into a player that we can go to and count on. That's been very helpful to us as a team. And, she's also developed into a good leader for us. She's one of our co-captains now.
“Leslie and Amber (Wilson, FSU's junior middle hitter) are very competitive with one another. They thrive on pushing each other and they fight like sisters, but in a good way. In the vans on road trips if they start singing together, oh man, look out.”
Giordon and Wilson have an on-going heated debate over which one of them is the better singer.
“Leslie is someone I sing with all of the time,” said Wilson with a laugh. “I even bought a splitter for her iPod so we can listen to the same song and sing it together. She says I can't sing, but she's wrong. Her singing skills are way below mine. In fact, if I'm bad, then she's horrible.”
Whether or not the pair can sing is debatable, but it doesn't stop them from doing so especially when they hear their favorite song to sing together Jeremih's “Break Up to Make Up.”
“That's the one we like best, but make no mistake I'm the better singer,” said Giordon. “Amber can't judge me. She just thinks she's good because she sings louder than anyone else.”
On the court Giordon is a player who has made steady improvements to her game since starting as a freshman in the fall of 2010. Last year she finished third on the team in total kills with 334 and third in total blocks with 58.
This season she has 110 kills in 11 matches and is second on the squad in blocks with 28.
“There's no doubt Leslie has come a long way as a player since her freshman season,” said Wilson. “She used to get really upset and down on herself, but now she plays with so much more confidence that that's not a problem for her anymore. She's worked hard on her off-speed hitting and does a really nice job with that. She's back to playing the right-side hitter spot for us which is where she's most comfortable and we're seeing the results of that on the court.”
Giordon, who is left-handed and played the outside hitter spot for the Falcons for much of last season before finally being moved back to her natural position on the right side late last year, says she feels a lot more comfortable on the right side.”
“I was asked to play the outside spot and it was a challenge for me, but I feel like I handled it well. I just was trying to do what was best for the team,” she said. “Midway through last season, though, I got into a terrible slump and that was pretty frustrating.
“Now I'm back on the right side and I feel more comfortable there. I've definitely improved as a player since my freshman year, but at the same time I still feel like I have more room to improve.”
Girodon is majoring in elementary education and has a real passion for working with young children.
“I've wanted to be a teacher since a young age,” she said. “When I was growing up my mother ran a daycare in our home so I was always around young kids and playing with them outside and I loved it. When I was in elementary school I was blessed by having some outstanding teachers, who made education fun.
“When I was in seventh and eighth grade we had career shadowing days and I shadowed my favorites teachers from elementary school. It was a great experience for me. I knew then it was what I wanted to do. I can't wait to teach. I love kids and I really want to make learning fun for them like it was for me. I'm excited about my future.”
And for now the future in both volleyball and life is a bright one for Leslie Giordon.