JoJo and Co. go for 5 in row

Bellerose native Joanne Persico-Smith, the St. John's women's volleyball coach, will take the floor for her 26th Empire State Games this week at SUNY Cortland. File Photo/Paul Leone
By Marc Raimondi

Joanne Persico-Smith said last year she might hang up her sneakers after 25 years playing in the Empire State Games. But the 42-year-old St. John’s women’s volleyball coach is on the roster again for the New York City women’s open volleyball team. She’ll be helping the city go for a fifth straight gold medal.

Joining the St. Francis Prep graduate and Bellerose native will be a usual gathering of current and former players, headlined by Hui Ping Huang, this year’s Big East Player of the Year.

Also on the Empire State Games roster are former All-Big East standouts at St. John’s, Patti Hardimon and Olga Roudovski, as well as two Queens natives who played as freshmen this year on Division I teams: Angelina Waterman of Archbishop Molloy and Ariel Pierre of St. Francis Prep.

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