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Neighbor Athlete of the Week: Annika Olsen, Johns Creek
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
September 25, 2013 12:53 PM | 1267 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Johns Creek volleyball has won 13 of its last 15 matches heading into Sept. 23, propelling the Gladiators to the No. 1 ranking in Class AAAAAA and has been led by senior outside hitter Annika Olsen.

She leads the team in kills with 274 and had 20 of them against previously top-ranked Walton in Johns Creek’s 3-1 victory over the Raiders on Sept. 3, the Gladiators’ biggest win to date. The Gladiators finished this past week with wins over West Forsyth and Milton.

“Annika is the one player on our team that other coaches plan their strategy around,” Johns Creek head coach Beth Stephens said. “Their goal is to neutralize Annika but she’ll adjust to whatever defense she faces and will not allow another team to shut her down. Annika is undoubtedly our best offensive weapon.”

Olsen has also shown versatility on the defensive end, currently second on the Gladiators’ team in digs (285) and blocks per match (0.3). She played every point in all five of Johns Creek’s matches this weekend at South Forsyth which were each won by the Gladiators, who dropped only one set at the event.

“We have other great players, but Annika has that X-factor that brings a cohesiveness to the team,” Stephens said.

“Everyone plays better when she’s in. Annika’s work ethic is unparalleled and her attitude both on and off the court is nothing short of amazing. She’s the quintessential student-athlete striving for excellence both on the court and in the classroom.”

Olsen was named to the All-State team last season and will attend Georgia Tech next fall.

The Gladiators will return to action on Thursday at home against Parkview and Dunwoody.
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