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      Friend shares memories of drowning victim

      "Happy, outgoing, I mean there are so many good things to describe her...she was a great person," said John Schenning, friend of the Northern Michigan University soccer player, Arianna Alioto, who drowned on campus last Friday.

      Schenning remembers when he met freshman Arianna Alioto at the beginning of this semester.

      "At first she seemed shy, but getting to know her, she always had a smile on her face. She always would say something to you walking through the hall," said Schenning.

      Alioto and Schenning both lived on the third floor of Magers Hall at Northern Michigan University.

      "There's always going to be that empty space there," Schenning added.

      What was his favorite memory of Alioto? Late night trips to Walmart.

      "We'd always go out there and she'd always blare the music in my car, and it was always fun," Schenning said.

      One of Arianna's passions in life was soccer. She didn't play this year while rehabbing an injury but was expected to make an impact next season. Now her teammates are in shock.

      "It's hard, not only for us, but it's devastating for them, and I really feel for them right now," Schenning said.

      Many questions remain about Alioto's drowning last Friday in the pool at the Physical Education Instructional Facility. The investigation is being handled by NMU Public Safety and the county medical examiner. They expect to have autopsy results in two to four weeks.

      In the meantime, the NMU community is paying tribute to Alioto by hanging ribbons around campus. They're purple...Alioto's favorite color. Fans, including Schenning and his roommate, wore purple at Tuesday night's hockey game.

      "She was friends with a lot of people. The whole candle lighting thing, so many people came out," Schenning commented. "Yesterday, wearing purple. One person, to be able to bring the community of Northern together, was not only an athlete, but a great person, and it was tough losing someone like that."

      Funeral services for Alioto are being held this Friday and Saturday in her hometown of Columbia, Missouri. Many of her soccer teammates plan to attend.