Harford County volleyball previews

September 09, 1997|By Brant James

Aberdeen Eagles

1996 record: 6-8

Coach: Janine Robinson

Top players: Jennifer Donnelly, Sr., S; Michelle Davis, Sr., BR; Dana Hines, Sr., H; Tykinna Smith, Jr., S/H.

Outlook: The return of nine seniors and four juniors presents Robinson a pleasant dilemma: so much experience, so few spots. "I'm optimistic about our chances, but finding the right combination is the thing right now," she said. "I have 14 girls and all of them are about equal."

Bel Air Bobcats

1996 record: 3-9

Coach: Amy Sexton

Top players: Kellie Flynn, Sr., MH; Janice Vanden Eynden, Sr., OH; Christi Kimball, Jr., S.

Outlook: Sexton expects the flood of returning starters to upgrade a team that finished six games under .500 in the regular season but advanced to its regional playoffs before falling. Flynn is expected to assume much of the hitting chores.

C. Milton Wright Mustangs

1996 record: 8-4

Coach: Kim Mayforth

Top players: Kara Karwacki, Sr., S; Jen Thompson, Sr., MH; Robyn Novak, Sr., S.

Outlook: Mayforth, who played on a state champion Mustangs squad before graduating in 1982, begins her first stint as a prep head coach. She will stress aggressiveness at the net, and thinks she has the players to make the Mustangs serious contenders in the county. Thompson, who played on a club team in Holland this summer, will be a main cog in the offense.

Edgewood Rams

1996 record: 12-2

Coach: Debbie Brinkman

Top players: Marissa Willoughby, Sr., MH; Erica Turner, Sr, MH; Kristy Collins, Sr., S/H; Amy Smith, OH, Sr.

Outlook: Brinkman returns county Player of the Year Collins, and All-County performer Turner from a squad that marched to the state semifinals last season. Edgewood, whose hitting Brinkman said "is not strong," will stress defense, hoping to lull foes into making mistakes.

Fallston Cougars

1996 record: 10-4

Coach: Robin Dorfler

Top players: Melissa Bystry, Sr., H; Brianna Scarff, Sr., Kara Rook, Sr., H.

Outlook: All-county selection Bystry returns to the Harford co-champion on a squad loaded with four seniors and eight juniors.

Havre de Grace Warriors

1996 record: 3-9

Coach: Lynn Clapperton

Top players: Marsha Sawyer, Sr., H; Erin Murphy, Sr., S; Marie Harding, Jr., B; Kim Gorsuch, Jr., S.

Outlook: With a year of experience and confidence-building under them, the Warriors are expected by second-year coach Clapperton to become more competitive in the county. Sawyer will pace the HDG offense, which Clapperton hopes will be more offensive-minded.

Harford Tech Cobras

1996 record: 0-12

Coach: Mary Odachowski

Top players: April Roche, Sr., MH; Amanda Lopez, Sr., S; Debbie Day, Sr., MH; Tanika Malloy, Sr., DS; Monique Fournier, Sr., S; Sabrina Hash, Sr., DS; Nicholle Beard, Sr., DS; Jennifer Dorbert, Jr., MH; Pam Whittington, Jr., DS.

Outlook: The Cobras lost four matches last season in the fifth game, including battles with John Carroll and in the regionals, which makes Odachowski excited for this season. "If we start where we ended," she said, "we'll be a stick of dynamite."

Joppatowne Mariners

1996 record: 8-8

Coach: Al Reeves

Top players: Kelly Knight, Sr., OH; Angie Ketner, Sr., MH; Monique Washington, Jr., MH; Kristina Swatzell, Jr., S.

Outlook: The Mariners surprised Reeves last season by advancing to the region finals, but this year he's expecting such efforts behind Washington, a second-team All-County selection last season. The 5-11 Washington was Joppatowne's kill leader last season, and will need to be again for a team that will attack constantly.

John Carroll Patriots

1996 record: 11-5

Coach: Greg Cullison

Top players: Sarah Bowman, Sr., OH; Kim Pirisino, Jr., MH; Kate Magseman, Jr., S.

Outlook: The loss of two All-County first-teamers in Courtney Krasowski and Charlotte Wills prompts Cullison to think his team "might be slipping a little bit" into a rebuilding phase. He expects Pirisino to bolt to the forefront with added responsibility, however, as the Patriots employ a more defensive scheme.

North Harford Hawks

1996 record: 8-7

Coach: Scott Guckert

Top players: Rachel Kelley, Sr., H; Jennifer McMillian, Jr., S/H; Erika Sliger, Sr., H.

Outlook: Guckert feels his "100 percent hitting" attack will make the Hawks one of the top teams, if not the best, in the county. "We're definitely going to be in it," he said, "and I think we can win it. I never would have said that a year ago."

Pub Date: 9/09/97

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