Walk-on Leading Devils By Doing Things Her Way

Oct. 4, 2005

Jose E. Garcia
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 30, 2005 12:00 AM

The only thing that's making a louder statement on Arizona State's volleyball team other than outside hitter Margie Giordano is Giordano's pink bicycle.

High handlebars and a banana seat adorn this old clunker. All that's missing are the streamers and the baseball card in the spokes.

Most freshmen would get laughed off of campus riding this thing, but it fits the unpretentious Giordano.

Besides, Giordano didn't have another option for getting around campus.

Giordano declined the University of Miami's full-ride offer so that she could walk on at her dream school, ASU. Walking on meant she couldn't afford a car, but that didn't stop Giordano from steering her collegiate career to a successful start.

The 18-year-old leads ASU (6-6, 1-1 Pac-10) in kills per game (3.15) after 12 matches. ASU's quick offensive attack apparently suits the mobile Giordano.

She's proving wrong the college naysayers who said she couldn't play on the outside as a 5-foot-10 hitter.

'I'm stubborn,' she said. 'I always knew I could play on the outside.'

The Sun Devils are back in action tonight with a match at No. 2 Washington (10-0, 1-0). They'll play at Washington State (7-7, 0-1) on Saturday before returning home next week to play Arizona.

Giordano had her mind set on ASU since she her sophomore year at Glendale Mountain Ridge High.

Last season, The Republic's Big School Player of the Year helped Mountain Ridge win the school's first team state title. She capped her high school career with a cross-court kill on championship point.

She waited to the last minute to go to ASU, which didn't have a scholarship and probably won't until Giordano's junior season. She said she thought about going to Miami, but that was too far away.

Her passion for the sport and being around her family is what drives Giordano. That pull told her to go to ASU.

'Margie is just following her heart and not doing it for glory,' Giordano's mom, Robin, said. 'When I see something in the newspaper about her and I tell her about it, she says, 'Oh, really.' She doesn't care.'

While Giordano feels like she's proven she belongs at ASU, she said that she would leave her options open if a scholarship doesn't become available. ASU coach Brad Saindon said he doesn't know when a scholarship will become available but the first one that does will go to Giordano.

'We want to take care of her,' he said.

All Giordano can do at this point is continue playing as one of the ASU's best all-around players. She's second on the team in digs per game with 2.75.

'Absolutely not,' said Terri Spann, ASU assistant and Giordano's former club coach, when asked if she was surprised by her fast start. 'During the first couple of weeks she took it all in. But once the game starts, she was all go.'

She's does exactly the same off the court. Just ask the ASU students who see her go by on that pink bike.

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