Baltimore City volleyball preview

September 07, 1997|By Brant James

Carver Bears

1996 record: 2-10

Coach: Linda Hollis

Top players: Rina Johnson, Sr., H; Renauda Stewart, Jr., H.

Outlook: Carver has modest hopes for the season, such as finding enough players to field a junior varsity team. Johnson, a strong 5-foot-8 jumper, should provide most of the team's

excitement. Hollis says the team "has spirit" but must "work to its potential."

Douglass Ducks

1996 record: 2-8

Coach: Mary Hughee

L Top players: Renalda Owens, Jr., OH; Tiesha Little, Jr., MH.

Outlook: The Ducks are set for a rebuilding phase. Little must step up to a leadership role in the offensive scheme.

Dunbar Poets

1996 record: 4-7

Coach: Gail Robinson

Top players: Danielle Christopher, Sr., OH; Shanee Johnson, Sr., S; Katrina Street, Sr., OH; Sarah Muse, Sr., DS.

Outlook: Athletic director Robinson runs the Poets for the second season and hopes to "step up the program." Last season Dunbar concentrated on defense and directing the ball, so much so the team did not even keep offensive statistics. Now, %J Robinson says, with several of her players having attended clinics in the off-season, she wants an improvement. "We're actually going to run some plays and play offense and defense this year," she said.

Edmondson Redskins

1996 record: 1-7

Coach: Anton Sawyer

Top players: Eboni Brooks, Sr., MH; Willanda Sewell, Sr., S; Obi Nnadi, Sr., S.

Outlook: Self-motivation is the key phrase for the Redskins, who forfeited in the first round of the state playoffs, Sawyer said, because of "attitude problems." The 28th-year coach thinks a focused squad could challenge for the city 4A title behind Brooks' hitting.

Forest Park Foresters

1996 record: 9-6

Coach: Gregory Warren

Top players: Shanell Hawks, Sr., H; Tamara Smith, Sr., H.

Outlook: The Foresters may be hard-pressed for another third-place finish in the city, with the loss of key hitter Linnea Carter. Inexperience will abound in the starting lineup, with Hawks and Smith the keys to the season.

Lake Clifton Lakers

1996 record: 3-12

Coach: Susan Greene

Top players: None.

Outlook: Greene hates to use the word "rebuilding," but that's one of the few that fits. Lake Clifton has no seniors, mostly freshmen and juniors, and a handful of players who "are brand new to the sport," Greene said.

Mervo Mustangs

1996 record: 4-6

Coach: Nancy Havranek

Top players: None.

Outlook: With only four players at practice since Aug. 15, and the likelihood of gutting her junior varsity team a real possibility, Havranek sees "a real, real rebuilding year."

Northwestern Wildcats

1996 record: 0-12

Coach: Cindy Robinson

L Top players: Keena Brown, Sr., S; Barnetta Berkley, So., CB.

Outlook: Brown and Berkley are the lone bright spots on a Wildcat team that went winless last season and should again struggle in every aspect. First-year coach Robinson will emphasize defense and a 4-2 offense and hope for the best.

Poly Engineers

1996 record: 8-6

Coach: Norman Perry

Top players: Akeya Vaughan, Sr., MH; Rhea Marasigan, Sr., S; Isoke DeLeon, Jr., S.

Outlook: The graduation of top hitter Monica Harris leaves the 6-foot-1 Baugh as the main offensive weapon, and Perry thinks his team will need half a season to mesh. He said what the Engineers "lack in talent, they'll make up with hard work."

Patterson Clippers

1996 record: 13-1

Coach: Dan Chicorelli

Top players: Sarrah Palmer, Sr., H; Christina Vittek, Sr., H; Melanie Eshenbaugh, So., Laurieanne Lau, So., S; Lashawn Neal, So., S; Tamara Wheeler, Jr., H.

Outlook: Patterson, the reigning 4A city co-champ, swings into a total rebuilding mode after losing its entire squad (five seniors and two juniors who did not come out this season). Palmer and Vittek represent the experience on the team as junior varsity promotions, and first-year coach Chicorelli is adding new players each day. "We want to build on last year, because they did great things," he said. "But it'll be slow at first."

Southern Bulldogs

1996 record: 4-8

Coach: Bill Parker

Top players: Lynn Franklin, Sr., S; Latrina Felder, Sr., MH; Kim Felder, Sr., S; Nikki Rouzer, Sr., S.

Outlook: Parker hopes to make up for an overall lack of size with an experienced core group. Latrina Felder is the tallest among the regulars at just 5 feet 7, but she and her fellow starters are in their third year of playing together.

Southwestern Sabers

1996 record: 5-3

Coach: Arlene Scott

Top players: None.

Outlook: Scott's expectation level is low this season after she graduated her entire 1996 squad and has only four players with junior varsity experience. The Sabers' goals for the season, says Scott: stay together, learn, have fun, win, if possible.

Western Doves

1996 record: 10-1

Coach: Anna Gibbs

Top players: Tiffany Silver, Sr., OH; Dawn McCrea, Sr., RH; Selina Gaskins, Jr., MH; Keisha Chapman, Jr., MH.

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