Something unexpected happened to Centennial's volleyball team last year on its way to a fourth straight Class 3A state title.
Mount Hebron, which twice had lost to the Eagles during the regular season, defeated Centennial in five games in the East region final and went on to capture the state title.
The Eagles haven't forgotten.
"Revenge is too strong a word," said Centennial's Meredith Price, the only senior on the Eagles' squad. "We're just out to prove ourselves and make sure that what happened last year won't happen again."
Centennial carried 15 players on last year's county championship team. Five have graduated, and the remaining 10 make up this year's team. Eight are juniors.
"The younger players saw what it did to our seniors to lose that fifth game, and they don't want it to happen to them," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom. "It's a motivation."
Centennial has the talent to win county and state titles again. That's nothing new. But what is new this season in the county is coaches.
Mount Hebron and Glenelg, winners of state titles in Class 3A and Class 2A, respectively, have new coaches. So do Atholton, Wilde Lake and Chapelgate. And don't forget the coaches at the county's newest high schools, Long Reach and River Hill.
Kedre Fairley is coaching for the first time at Mount Hebron. She played high-school volleyball in Europe and on a club team at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. She still plays for a club team.
At Glenelg, Fred Talentino, the JV coach the last two seasons, takes over for Marlene Janis, who resigned after 11 years and two state titles. Janis, however, still wanted to help the Gladiators and has returned as a volunteer assistant.
Mike Kalinock, Atholton's assistant coach for two years , replaces Sybil Modispacher, who is now River Hill's varsity coach.
Christine Ewing takes over at Long Reach and Melissa Dombkiewicz is guiding Wilde Lake.
Ewing has coached at the club level and also Laurel High's JV for one season. Dombkiewicz, who replaces Robert Moy, now the JVcoach at Long Reach, has not coached before. She played two years at Georgetown University and plays for a club team.
Chris Moxley has replaced Matt Sanner at Chapelgate.
Although Bossom stayed put at Centennial, he was anything but stationary this summer. He attended many clinics and camps and has added "a lot of new wrinkles and ideas to our team."
One facet of the new strategy is to give players more freedom.
"It allows them to move freely and to have more say on where to hit," Bossom said.
Even though the Eagles have only one senior -- all-county hitter Meredith Price -- Bossom said this year's team has the ability to be the best he's coached.
"This team is very good," said Bossom, who begins his third season. "They come to practice very focused, and they know what to do. This team really loves the game, and they come in and play hard."
Mount Hebron lost five starters, including All-Metro setter Sylvia Kaltreider and all-county hitter Kate Hannas. Still, behind senior captains Kerry Quinn (setter) and Katie Coker (middle hitter) and up-and-coming sophomore Kristina Kaltreider, the Vikings should be very competitive.
"It's a very good team," said Fairley. "We definitely have a lot of good players."
Kaltreider, with an extremely hard shot and solid all-around game, is receiving rave reviews from her coach and certainly will be one of the players to watch in the county.
"She's bad. I can't tell you how bad she is," said Fairley. "And it comes so naturally to her."
Glenelg has lost two key players from last year's team. Elisa Davidson, The Sun's Player of the Year, graduated and is at Georgetown. Amber Rieg, the team's setter last year, was redistricted to River Hill.
Talentino said the Gladiators have "a lot of good hitters. Right now, developing a setter is our biggest concern."
Senior Bonnie Kessler, a back-row specialist last year, will be the team's primary setter this season.
"It's going pretty good," said Kessler. "I think we'll have a good season."
Another change this season means no non-league games, and some teams will play against a county opponent only once. Centennial, for example, plays Mount Hebron twice, but faces Glenelg once. Also, Atholton and Howard have dropped from Class 3A to 2A.
Pub Date: 9/04/96