EDWARDSVILLE - Lexie Griffin, a senior on the Edwardsville High School girls volleyball team, has returned for her final season with the squad and is one of the key players for the Tigers for the fall season.

Griffin is very optimistic that the Tigers will have a big season this fall after the team went undefeated in the abbreviated COVID-19 spring season last year, taking the Southwestern Conference championship in a postseason tournament, winning over O'Fallon in an exciting three-set match in April.

"I think we're ready this year," Griffin said during a recent interview. "I think this is our year, for sure. I think last year could have been our year too, but this year, we're definitely ready."

Although the Tigers had much success in the spring season, there's still nothing like a regular fall season, and Griffin feels that she and her teammates were ecstatic about the season start.

"Yes, I'm very excited," Griffin said. "So happy it's my senior year. We're taking things really seriously this year, so I think it's definitely our year."

Griffin and the team do have high expectations and goals for this season.

"My biggest goal is just come out every game and perform," Griffin said, "whether that's just doing one thing for my team or doing it all. Keeping a positive attitude all the time because that's always important. And picking up my teammates when they need me to."

The Tigers' schedule is a difficult one indeed, with the usual challenges from the Southwestern Conference, along with important non-conference matches and playing in tournaments with other strong teams. Griffin feels that Edwardsville will be up to the challenge.

"Yep, we're ready for sure," Griffin said.

Griffin has also set some goals for herself to help make the Tigers succeed.

"Well, last year, I had an average of about 16 assists per game," Griffin said, "so I want to get around that or a little bit higher this year. Just making sure I even my sets out and set the hitter that's hot that game every time."

The biggest team goal is to make a deep run into the IHSA Class 4A state tournament series, which will return after missing the 2020 series due to COVID-19.

"That's our biggest goal this year, is definitely making it to state," she said.

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