Team-by-team Volleyball Capsules

September 15, 1995|By Bill Free

Annapolis Panthers

1994 record: 0-15. Coach: Karla McMahon (fifth year).

Top players: Bridgid Duffy, Sr., outside hitter; Kammi Cottrell, Soph., middle blocker; Emily Danmeyer, Soph., middle blocker; Jenni Ferris, Soph., setter.

Outlook: All the starters return from an 0-15 team that lacked cohesiveness last season. McMahon saw some improvement in her team's ability to work together in the season opener against Westminster last week, enabling the Panthers to take the Owls to five games before losing the match. There just aren't a lot of highly skilled volleyball players for McMahon to work with but she is hoping that will change soon. "Kids just don't grow up playing volleyball around here," she said. "But a few youth leagues are starting up in the Annapolis area." Even though all six starters are back, Annapolis is still a young squad with three sophomores among the top six.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1994 record: 10-4. Coach: Linda Taylor (eighth year).

Top players: Crystal Henderson, Sr., outside hitter; Crystal Ray, Sr., outside hitter; Kathleen O'Hara, Sr., setter; Sandy Sandifer, Jr., outside hitter.

Outlook: There are good vibes coming out of the Cavaliers' camp even though the team went 1-1 in its first two matches. "I expect us to take the [Catholic] league championship," said Taylor whose team finished second to Mercy last year. "This team has the capability to do real well this season. We have a lot of confidence and it showed when we beat Chesapeake in four games. Our girls woke up after we lost to North County in the opener. We were nervous in that match." Hitting is the strong point, and the primary weakness is passing. Taylor said her players are learning to communicate on the court and are helped by being above average in height. Henderson is the big leaper on a talented squad that has exceptional skills due to attendance at camps and playing club volleyball.

Arundel Wildcats

1994 record: 8-10. Coach: Lee Rogers (seventh year).

Top players: Shauna Gooding, Sr., setter; Jen Mottar, Sr., outside hitter; Chavonne Hammond, Sr., middle blocker; Michelle Akers, Jr., outside hitter; Jana Boddy, Jr., setter; Heather Adams, Jr., setter; Kady House, Jr., outside hitter.

Outlook: The Wildcats have fallen on tough times in recent years after some outstanding seasons the first two years Rogers coached the team. They just don't get enough players that go to summer camps or have a chance to participate in youth leagues. "I try to encourage our girls to go to the county Parks and Recreation summer camps but they don't want to go," said Rogers. "We need that kind of extra work on skills to keep pace with the Severna Parks, Glen Burnies and Broadnecks. Right now we do the best we can with what we have." In the early going this season, the serving has been consistent but the passing and hitting have been problems. "We need to be more offensive conscious," said Rogers. "Hopefully our hitting will come around. I know we can play better." One major positive point for the team is the intense desire by the three basketball players on the squad (Gooding, Mottar and Hammond) to win. "Everybody hates to lose but our basketball players just seem to want to win a little more," said Rogers.

Broadneck Bruins

1994 record: 12-2. Coach: Krista Rohrer (first year).

Top players: Kara Johnson, Sr., setter; Erin Pinnix, Sr., outside hitter; Amy VanDehei, Jr., outside hitter; Pam Barr, Jr., outside hitter; Laura Keyes, Sr., middle blocker.

Outlook: Rohrer doesn't seem a bit fazed to be following a successful Tom Cole as head coach of the Bruins. Year in and year out, Broadneck has been one of the top teams in the county under Cole who stopped coaching to follow the progress of his ninth-grade daughter who is playing soccer. The Bruins have become known as giant-killers, twice ending long Severna Park county-match winning streaks with victories. Last season, Broadneck halted a 58-match string by the Falcons, and in 1990 the 3A school broke an 88-match streak. When Rohrer was asked what concerned her about the Bruins this season, she said: "Nothing. I look for us to have an outstanding season. My girls are all psyched and ready to play. My team captain [Johnson] keeps us pumped up."

Chesapeake Cougars

1994 record: 12-5. Coach: Melissa Preston (first year).

Top players: Michelle Horn, Sr., outside hitter; Gail Siemer, Soph., middle blocker; Renata Freburger, Jr., outside hitter.

Outlook: Preston, who was a volleyball defensive specialist at UMBC last season, said the biggest adjustment for the Cougars

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