Lions again need to play with heart Few returnees have experience Liberty 1993 high school volleyball preview

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

In recent years, the Liberty Lions have become known around Carroll County for their scrappy play, which offsets any shortcomings in size or talent.

Last year's squad was a perfect example. Although physically small, the team played with a huge heart to finish 11-4 and give county champion North Carroll all it could handle.

With only one starter returning this season, the Lions will have to play even harder to match the success they've grown accustomed to in recent years.

"We're a team still looking for an identity," said coach Helen Derwin.

"They're still getting used to playing with one another and need to gain some self-confidence. I think it will come with time, and as the season progresses, we should improve."

The Lions have six players back, but only senior Cailin Lawlor, a first-team All-County selection in 1992, has seen any quality varsity playing time. She will have to carry much of the load in the early going.

"She has extremely an good work ethic and is always looking to improve," Derwin said. "She can do a lot of different things well. She's a strong blocker and hitter, an excellent server and just hustles all over the court."

Derwin's biggest concern is in the back row, where the Lions have little experience or depth. They have some decent height up front, but will need some backcourt players.

Looking to contribute are junior front-line players Kathleen Hadjuck and Lori Gallagher, along with senior Katie Barkley. Senior Amy McGready and Lawlor are excellent leapers who can play above the net.

"We've got some height at the net, which will help out our blocking," Derwin said.

"What we're working hard on is our back-row passing to take advantage of our front line."

Other seniors are Holly Hall, Kelli Myers and Dawn Kennick.

"We're still looking for someone to step up and take on a leadership role. Once we start playing, someone will likely step up and take that role. Right now, the group is pretty loose," Derwin said.

Paulina Majorosova, a foreign-exchange student from the Czech Republic, could be a bonus as a setter.

"She might help. She's a real nice setter and gets to the ball well," Derwin said.

Junior Pam Owens is up from the JV and could see some playing time. Derwin is carrying only 10 players on the varsity, and just four are juniors.

She said patience is the key to a successful season, and she isn't looking for any overnight miracles.

"We're not quite as aggressive as I'd like to see us, but that will come when we start playing matches," Derwin said.

"When the wins don't come, it's sometimes hard to keep your head in the game. We just have to keep working at it and should see a lot of improvement as the season goes on."

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