Team-by-team Volleyball Capsules

September 15, 1995|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1994 record: 14-7. Coach: Sybil Kessinger.

Top players: Eileen McQueeney, Sr., S; Madigan Marth, Jr., OH; Jessica Edwards, Jr., OH.

Outlook: The Raiders' biggest hitters of a year ago, first-team All-County players Amanda Williams and Jennifer Ponzette, have graduated, so why is Kessinger smiling? "This year I have more true athletes on the court than ever before," said Kessinger, the county Coach of the Year in her first season last year. "But we're really going to have to work hard to do what we did last year." The Raiders finished the season No. 6 after losing to Loch Raven in four games in the Class 2A state final. This year, Atholton moves up to 3A. Marth and Edwards will take over the vacancies left by Williams and Ponzette. "Both are a little more knowledgeable about the whole game. They're just not hitters," Kessinger said. McQueeney, a second-team All-County selection last year, will captain the team -- "The players respect her so much," said Kessinger. Also expected to contribute are senior setter Chrissy Frentz, senior hitter Ariana Lowenbach, middle hitter Laura Kuckuda and sophomore outside hitter Beth Thomas.

Centennial Eagles

1994 record: 23-1. Coach: Mike Bossom.

Top players: Jen West, Sr., OH; Meredith Price, Jr., MH; Heather Tolkach, Sr., OH; Jen Klimm, Sr., S; Katie McCulloch, Sr., S; Rija Bears, Sr., OH.

Outlook: Kathleen O'Connor, a 5-11 sophomore middle hitter, has heard all about how young the Eagles are and how their streak of four consecutive Class 3A state titles could be in jeopardy. "I hear that but I don't believe it," she said. "We'll be fine. I think we're really going to surprise a lot of people." O'Connor is one of six sophomores that are expected to play an important role. The others are: setters Robyn West and Susan Yi, backcourt specialists Briana Zolak and Marcy Cangiano and hitter Suzy McCulloch. "The starting rotation depends on the opponent and how the players are playing," Bossom said. "I have four different starting lineups." Bossom said the team is more balanced than last year, and that the "skills are high and the dedication is high."

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1994 record: 6-11. Coach: Matt Sanner.

Top players: Sara Sackville, Sr., S; Heather Davison, Jr., H; Jennie VanNess, Fresh., H; Liz Klien, D.

Outlook: "The attitude and spirit is a lot better than last year," said Sanner, a teacher at the school who begins his first year. "There's a lot more unity. They're very encouraging to each other." Sanner said the team has "good consistent ball control" and that it has to "become more hard-hitting and aggressive." The

I= Flames play in the Christian School Athletic Association.

Glenelg Gladiators

1994 record: 13-4. Coach: Marlene Janis.

Top players: Elisa Davidson, Sr., S/H; Cara Franklin, Sr., OH; Andrea Marks, Jr., OH; Kara Laws, Sr., MH; Kim Laws, Soph., MH; Amber Rieg, Soph., S.

Outlook: Janis, in 11th season, thinks she has another contender. Two years ago the Gladiators won the state Class 2A championship and a year ago lost in the regional semifinals to Atholton. "I don't have a real big team this year," Janis said, "but they move a lot faster." Davidson made first-team All-County last year. Also contributing will be outside hitters Vicki Bennet (sophomore), Jamie Bullock (freshman), Pam Goldberg (sophomore), Michelle Miller (senior), middle hitter Carrie Fulton (junior) and backcourt specialist Bonnie Kessler (junior). "We have some talent, some kids with experience," Janis said. "We need to get the players used to playing with each other and jelling. But I can see that coming together nicely."

Hammond Golden Bears

1994 record: 3-13. Coach: Ken McLaughlin.

Top players: Tina Wilmer, Sr., OH; Marisha McLaughlin, Sr., S; Alison Pflugrad, Sr., MH.

Outlook: "We're looking for a winning season," said McLaughlin, who kept 13 players, nine of them seniors. "I think we're capable of that." The key for the Golden Bears will be their defense and limiting mistakes. "We're more of a defensive team," McLaughlin said. "We stress digs, to play in your area and hope the other team makes mistakes." Other players expected to contribute are senior backcourt specialists Jessica Garlick and Jennifer Voneiff, senior outside hitter Robin Palmatier and junior outside hitter Brandy Peaker. "I think we're a good team," McLaughlin said. "We're stronger than last year."

Howard Lions

1994 record: 2-12. Coach: Craig O'Connell.

Top players: Kristie Dymond, Jr., OH; Trista Tindall, Jr., S; Rachael Grantham, Jr., D.

Outlook: "I think we're better than last year, but that doesn't mean we'll win more matches," said O'Connell, citing the toughness of the other county teams. Others expected to ZTC contribute are freshman outside hitter Ophelia Tindall, junior middle hitter/back Erin Pyne, junior middle hitter/back Chanelle Carter and junior hitter Coby Callahan. "This team has a lot of heart," said O'Connell. "If we can play together as a team, we should do well."

Mount Hebron Vikings

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