1996 All-Howard County volleyball team

November 20, 1996

Player of the Year

Meredith Price, Centennial, senior, hitter: Price was the best player on the area's best team. She did it all -- hit for power, passed well and played great defense. On a well-balanced, talented team, Price, like a year ago, was the Eagles' go-to person. "She's one of the best players I've had the pleasure of coaching," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom. "She works hard to be as good as she is." The 5-foot-11 Price led the team with 192 kills (3.15 average) and a .482 hitting average. Her kill shot accuracy was a very good 34 percent. She was second on the team in blocks (24), second in serve accuracy (88 percent), fourth in aces (30) and was the top serve-receive passer. Price, the team's lone senior, was the only player never to be subbed out. A three-year starter, Price, who has earned straight A's since her freshman year, is a two-time All-County selection and was an All-Metro player last year.

Co-coaches of year

Mike Kalinock, Atholton: The JV coach at Atholton the previous two years, Kalinock took the Raiders from 6-9 last year to 15-6 this season. Atholton, the only county team to win a game off top-ranked Centennial this season, reached Saturday's Class 2A state final but fell in four games to North East. Kalinock's biggest challenge was to have the girls put aside personal conflicts and play as a team. His easy-going style made that happen. "He's made a huge difference," said senior Jessica Edwards. Kalinock, a 6-foot-4 graduate of Frostburg State, played professional summer beach volleyball in 1992 and plays middle hitter for his club team now.

Mike Bossom, Centennial: The third-year coach took a talented team and did what was expected -- not always the easiest thing to do. The Eagles (19-0) began and ended the season No. 1, and earned their sixth Class 3A state title Saturday with a four-game victory over Thomas Johnson. It was the third unbeaten volleyball team in school history. With so many club players, Bossom's biggest task was to design practices that were fun and challenging. He did that by putting in a new offense that allowed his players more freedown and by slightly altering the defense. "Everyone was very supportive," said Bossom, who coaches the Columbia Condors (under 14) for the Columbia Volleyball Club and plays middle hitter for his club team. "They gave 100 percent and worked very well together."

The first team

Briana Zolak, Centennial, junior, hitter: She emerged this season as one of the county's best -- and hardest -- hitters. She had 153 kills (2.6 average), a .472 hitting percentage and made 84 percent of her serves (35 aces). Like Price, the 5-foot-8 Zolak has an excellent overall game. She passes well, plays strong defense, has good quickness and can jump.

Jessica Edwards, Atholton, senior, hitter: A three-year starter, Edwards is, says coach Mike Kalinock, "a true power hitter." Edwards plays at one speed and hits at one speed -- hard. "She's a very tenacious player," Kalincok said. But Edwards, who had 230 kills (3.7 average), can do more than hit. She is a good passer and is strong defensively.

Madigan Marth, Atholton, senior, hitter: Like her fellow co-captain Edwards, Marth, a second-team All-County selection last year, is a strong hitter and very determined. But Marth has more of a finesse game, and will look for openings to tap the ball over. She averaged three kills a game and had 41 aces.

Kerry Quinn, Mount Hebron, senior, setter: ter: Quinn was the leader behind the Vikings' second-place county finish (12-3). A smart player who never gave up, Quinn made 89 percent of her serves and had 27 aces. First-year coach Kedre Fairley admired Quinn because she was "willing to take risks." Fairly said had she had another setter she would have made Quinn a hitter because of her strong shot. "As a new coach it was nice to have her on my side," Fairley said. "I'm going to miss her terribly."

Susan Yi, Centennial, junior, setter: She ran one of the top offenses in the state and did it well. Yi averaged 5.34 assists per game, and led the team in service accuracy (97 percent with 31 aces). Centennial's new offense allowed more freedom to its players, and made Yi's job more challenging. She distributed the ball well and had excellent location on her sets.

Amber Rieg, River Hill, junior, setter: "We're not the best passing team, but Amber makes something happen with whatever she gets," said River Hill coach Sybil Modispacher. Rieg had 228 assists (3.6 average) and a team-high 94 percent serving accuracy. "She kept a young team playing together," Modispacher said of the tri-captain, a state titlist at Glenelg last year. "Without her, we would have been in a totally different situation."

All-Howard County volleyball team

Player of the Year: Meredith Price, Centennial

Co-Coaches of the Year: Mike Bossom, Centennial, and Mike Kalinock, Atholton

FIRST TEAM

Name, School, Year, Position

Meredith Price, Centennial, Senior, Hitter

Briana Zolak, Centennial, Junior, Hitter

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