Panthers looking to continue with same, old success First-year coach has set of strong returning players North Carroll 1993 high school volleyball preview

September 10, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

An unfamiliar face will be on the sideline at North Carroll this season, but don't be surprised to see the same, old successful results.

After 19 years of winning seasons, Linda Richards stepped down as the Panthers head coach. New coach Donna Martin has the challenge of maintaining a program that has done nothing but win.

Martin has a solid nucleus of returning players to work with. Last year's Carroll County Player of the Year, Joy Huber, is one of four seniors back. First-team All-County player Danielle Arnold is another. In all, the Panthers return four seniors and two juniors from last year's county title team that won its last seven games of the regular season to finish 11-4.

They also have talent up from last year's undefeated junior varsity. It should add up to another winning season for the Panthers.

"The whole attitude of the team is that they want to go to states, but there're 15 games to be played before that," Martin said.

"We have a varsity team that won the Central Maryland Conference title and a junior varsity team that went 15-0. A big key will be meshing them together."

The development of Huber as a dominant force was a key to the Panthers' 1992 season, and she should be an even bigger force this year.

Last season, she set a school record with 104 blocks and had 248 kills. She also showed great versatility with 117 shoots and dinks and had a 92 percent success ratio on her sets.

"Joy is a real aggressive hitter and awesome at the net blocking," said Martin.

Arnold is a steady player with great quickness and court sense. She was the Panthers' top server and finished second on the team last year in hitting, despite being only 5 feet 5.

Jill Tringali will be another hitter this year after setting last season. Martin said the returning senior looks comfortable at the new spot and is hitting the ball well.

A big key will be the play of senior Jennifer Renner and how she returns to form after knee surgery last May.

"She's my one consistent setter. She came back from the knee surgery a lot sooner than expected and has looked solid. It's important to have her stay healthy," Martin said.

Junior hitters Katy Wilhelm and Kandi Lippy have a year of varsity experience after getting some playing time as sophomores in 1992 -- both have good overall athletic ability.

The junior varsity under Bonnie Clendaniel has enjoyed much the same kind of success the varsity has over the years. Another strong cast of juniors will be sent up to varsity this year to continue the cycle.

Amy Baker, Sara Deluca, Chrissy Sauter, Jody Piercy, Suzie Warehime, Laura Watson, Shannon Tracey and Mailley Thurman get a chance to play with the varsity this year.

"Our goal is to take it one game at a time," Martin said. "We don't have any shoo-in matches -- there're no gifts on this schedule."

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