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Genske makes her own history

Volleyball: Pasadena Poly's senior captain wins the All-Area Player of the Year Award.

December 31, 2011|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

It isn't often that a 17 year old has a grasp of history, let alone an appreciation for those players that came before her.

Then again, Pasadena Poly senior Alexis Genske is special.

The Altadena resident is an alumna of Pasadena Christian School, the same institution that produced Mayfield standout and two-time CIF Southern Section Division champion Susan Carlson (Georgia Tech).

As a seventh grader, Genske was in attendance when Westridge outside hitter Katrina Post (Brown University) led the Tigers to a Division IV-AA title in 2006 and also has fond memories of playing against former Mayfield rivals Hannah Schraer (USC) and Rachel Aragon (Dartmouth).

"We've always had our share of club players, but have only received recognition the last couple of years," Genske said. "But that's fair because Westridge had a great player like Katrina Post for four years and Mayfield had a lot great players who brought their school limelight.

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"I guess it was just our turn these past two years."

Each of the aforementioned girls defined successful eras for their respective teams in the same way Genske has led the Panthers' recent upswing.

Like those players, Genske received several accolades.

Unique, however, is that Genske was voted the All-Area Girls' Volleyball Player of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Pasadena Sun, Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.

"She's deserving because she took control of this team and wanted the responsibility of being a team captain," Poly Coach Steve Beerman said. "It's one thing to have talent and quite another to have the drive to work hard."

The 6-foot middle blocker completed a masterful year in which she led the area in kills, with 364 through 24 matches, accompanying her 62 blocks and 36 aces.

Genske was also named the Prep League Most Valuable Player and CIF Southern Section Division III-AA Player of the Year.

As for her team, the Panthers (24-4) finished runner-up in the Prep League before losing to league rival Chadwick, 3-0, in the championship match of the CIF Division III-AA playoffs.

The Panthers did rebound from the defeat in posting a 3-0 victory over Independence in the first round of the CIF-State Division III playoffs before losing to Cathedral Catholic in the second round.

"This year was more of an emotional ride than in the past because I knew it was my senior year," Genske said. "This was my team and my chance to get it right and to go for the championship."

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