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Gross Point Blank (Lanny Gross)

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Our Taco John's Athlete of the Week is one of the reasons the Arlington volleyball team is favored to make it back the Class 'B' State Tournament.  Lanny Gross might even help the Cardinals win the school's first ever championship that sport.

"Well our hope is to get back to the state tournament and win it this year," said Gross.

Lanny Gross is just a junior, but already she has experienced more big moments than most high school volleyball players ever will.  She's played in three Class 'B' state tournaments and helped her team to two runner-up trophies and one third place finish.

"She's just a great player and we've been fortunate to have her and her abilities," said Arlington Volleyball Coach Anita Boeck.  "And so we've just continued to realize what she's gonna do these next couple of years and we're pretty excited to have her here in Arlington."

Gross is listed at six feet even and the junior outside hitter seems even taller when she's at the net.  She has a knack for getting kills, with more than 800 in her career, including nearly 250 this season.

"I have a lot of confidence in her because I know what she can do and she's very capable of hitting the ball down," said teammate Kelsey Kaufmann.  "Wherever she hits it, she's gonna get a kill out of it."

She's also a threat on defense as well.

"When you put somebody like that at the net it just makes it a little bit more difficult for teams to be able to go around them," said Boeck.

"We've put a lot of work in over the years," said Gross.  "So I feel like I've come a long way as a player.  Just being smarter and making better decisions as I play."

It's her offense that remains Gross' forte though.  As a sophomore, she racked up 21 kills in the state semis.  But she is quick to note that a lot of her current success is due to her setters.

"It's awesome playing with Lanny," said Kaufmann.  "She's one of my best friends and when you get us two together on the court it seems like we have a lot of chemistry and we work well together."

Lanny Gross works well with all of her teammates and the Cardinals have been to state year after year.  This year though the junior star hopes to get her biggest kill. 

The very last one at the state tournament.
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