1997 Howard County volleyball previews

September 03, 1997|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1996 record: 15-6

Coach: Mike Kalinock

Classification: 2A

Top players: Jen Thomas, Jr., OH; Jen Poston, So., OH; Lauren Mickley, So., OH.

Outlook: With only one returning starter from last year's Class 2A state finalist, and no experienced setter, Kalinock has his work cut out for him. "Wins and losses aren't going to mean anything this year," said Kalinock, whose team lost to North East in four games in the state final. "What's most important is developing the team and this program." Thomas, the lone returning starter, is moving from middle hitter to outside hitter. Poston and Mickley were on the varsity last year but had limited playing time. Kalinock, last year's Howard County co-Coach of the Year, hopes to get solid contributions from junior middle hitter Kristen Trinkaus and freshman middle/outside hitter Kallie Greatwood. The Raiders, who finished third (10-5) in the county last season, have three seniors -- all with limited experience -- three juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen.

Centennial Eagles

1996 record: 19-0

Coach: Mike Bossom

Classification: 2A

Top players: Briana Zolak, Sr., OH; Robyn West, Sr., MH/OH; Susan Yi, Sr., S; Kathleen O'Connor, Sr., MH, RSH; Michelle Flather, Sr., OH/RH; Marcy Cangiano, Sr., BCS; Lisa Chapman, Jr. S; Beth Stradling, So., MH; Melissa Bossle, Sr., OH/RH.

Outlook: Talent. Experience. Tradition. The Eagles have it all. This season, according to Bossom, the players must "maintain their drive and focus." If they do that, the Eagles are going to be hard to beat. "When everyone says you're going to win, you tend to believe it. They can't let that happen. Anybody can lose on a given day," added Bossom. Half of the 14-player team are seniors, and five of them return as starters. The only player to graduate from last year's county, regional and state champion was Meredith Price, the all-county and All-Metro Player of the Year. Centennial, which has 13 club players on its varsity, has won six state titles and five of the last six Class 3A championships. The Eagles also have won 10 county titles, including the last six in a row. Zolak, a first-team All-Metro selection, and Yi, a second-team All-Metro pick, will lead the way along with West, a second-team all-county selection. Zolak brings "intensity, ball control and power" said Bossom. "She fills the role a lot like Meredith did last year." Zolak and West are two of the hardest hitters in the county. "We have the ability to be a very strong team, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," said Zolak. "We have to work hard, keep our intensity up and play well together." Bossom, never wanting to sit pat, has added some new wrinkles to the team playbook. He also brought up five players from last year's unbeaten junior varsity.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1996 record: 17-1

Coach: Chris Moxley

League: AIS

Top players: Devon Jancuska, Sr., S; Sue Huber, Sr. S/MH; Elizabeth Klein, Sr., OH; Jennie Van Ness, Jr., OH.

Outlook: The Flames, who went undefeated in the Christian School Athletic Association Association last year, will play in the more competitive AIS B division this season. And despite losing three starters, including juniors Stephanie Kunkel and Amy Sackville, who transferred to public schools, Moxley has high hopes. "It's going to take work and dedication from the players, but I think we can play well in this division. I'd say the outlook is good," Moxley said. "The skills are there. We need to work on playing as a team and also to be consistent." Jancuska and Huber, both outside hitters last year, will play in different positions this season.

Glenelg Gladiators

1996 record: 12-7

Coach: Marlene Dugan

Classification: 1A

Top players: Jamie Bullock, Jr., OH; Pam Goldberg, Sr., OH; Kim Laws, Sr., MH; Christina Mills, Jr., S; Arney Walker, Sr., MH; Vicki Bennett, Sr., BCS.

Outlook: The rumor was that Glenelg was going to get a setter. "I heard it, too," Dugan said. Then, on the second day of tryouts, Mills, a transfer student from Seneca Valley of Montgomery County, appeared. "She's a very nice addition," Dugan said. "We're very well-rounded. "We have a good setter, good hitters and good defensive players. There aren't too many weaknesses. I think we'll be very competitive." Also expected to see a good amount of playing time are sophomore Nicole Barnoski (backcourt specialist/setter) and juniors Kristi Hedlesky (outside hitter/setter) and Laurie Driver (middle hitter). "One of our strengths this year is that we have a lot of depth," said Dugan. "I feel comfortable substituting in any situation, and that's something we haven't had in a number of years." The Gladiators won Class 2A state titles in 1993 and 1995.

Hammond Golden Bears

1996 record: 9-7

Coach: Ken McLaughlin

Classification: 1A

Top players: Monica McLaughlin, Jr., S; Andriane Panzera, Sr., MH; Jen Dickson, Sr., OH; Lauren Inouye, Sr., OH; Kyra Sliwinski, MH.

Outlook: With five starters back and the top seven players

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