1998 Carroll County volleyball previews

September 02, 1998|By Jeff Seidel

Carroll Christian Patriots

1997 record: 24-4.

Coach: Judy Mied.

Top players: LeighAnn Belcher, Sr., S; Lauren Belcher, Sr., OH; Renee Coglianese, Jr., MH; Erin Graf, Jr., OH; Jennifer Brenneman, Sr., MH; Nicole Estes, Soph., MH.

Outlook: The Patriots had a year to remember last fall, going undefeated in the regular season and capturing the Potomac Christian Athletic Conference title. They then won the region crown before advancing to the national finals. Four starters return from that team that finished second in the nation, and Mied likes what she sees for this year. The offense will be tough this season, as Mied said Lauren Belcher and Graf should do damage at the net. LeighAnn Belcher is a good setter who helps make the offense run smoothly. Coglianese is a good middle hitter who started last year and will be a plus this season, Mied said the team has holes to fill from last year's team, one that had been together for a while, but this should be another tough squad.

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1997 record: 10-7.

Coach: Alice Smith.

Top players: Jessica Broderick, Sr., MH; Stephanie Robertson, Sr., OH; Carrie Weant, Sr., S; Jen Sawyer, Jr., OH; Kim Sheedy, Jr., H.

Outlook: The Eagles bring several talented players back from their Class 2A West Region finalist of a year ago. In its first year in Class 2A, Key rebounded from a late-season slump to make the region final before losing to North Hagerstown. Five starters return for Smith on a team that once again has depth. Broderick, Sawyer and Sheedy will give the Eagles firepower at the net. Key has some more height this season, with three 6-foot players -- something it lacked last season. Smith wants to see some better setting and passing this season to help the offense go, and she'd like stronger play at the net.

Liberty Lions

1997 record: 15-4.

Coach: Dave Trumbo.

Top players: Abby Barnett, Sr, MH; Jen Bruce, Sr., OH; Stephanie Wilder, Jr., MH; Theresea Jason, Jr., S; Becky Campagna, Sr., OH; Lauryn Smith, Soph., OH; Beth Modracek, Sr., OH.

Outlook: The Lions were the surprise champions of the Class 3A West Region last year, and they should be a threat there once again. Despite losing three starters from the state semifinalist and Central Maryland Conference champion, Liberty's players worked hard in the off-season to improve their games. Trumbo is very optimistic about his team, and the Lions actually could have more firepower than last year. Barnett had 127 kills and 65 blocks last year and will again cause problems at the net. Wilder, Smith, Bruce and Campagna should give even more punch up front. Jason should grow into the role of setter, helping the offense click. The Lions did lose their two top players from a year ago, but they've got better depth this season and could overcome that.

North Carroll Panthers

1997 record: 10-6.

Coach: Lloyd Ford.

Top players: Kate Wall, Sr., H; Sara Clark, Sr., H; Charis Fulton, Sr., H/S; Tiffany Langan, Jr., H; Tiffany Shearer, Jr., H.

Outlook: Ford has a solid group of five returning starters as the nucleus. Wall was a force at the net last year, and the Panthers will need more of the same from her, plus good seasons from Clark and Fulton. That trio should give North Carroll plenty of punch at the net. The Panthers also have lots of experience as well as some impressive talent coming from the junior varsity. Pam Beverly injured her knee on the first day of practice and her status appears doubtful, which will be a blow to the offense. North Carroll will need someone to step into the setter's role.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1997 record: 6-10.

Coach: Debbie Eaton.

Top players: Amy Rosko, Sr., S; Charlene Deniker, Sr., S; Jen Altman, Jr., M/OH; Danielle Caballero, Jr., MH; Devin Caballero, Jr., BCS; Bri Schell, Jr., S; Emily Wolfing, Soph., OH.

Outlook: The Cavaliers lost several starters from last year, and they'll need several players to step up. Still, Eaton is optimistic. This team brings experience, good serving and some consistency to the court. The offense won't be as powerful as in years past, and the defense may have to carry much of the weight early on. Danielle Caballero should be a good blocker and make things tough at the net. Eaton said the Cavaliers are a scrappy, hard-working group, one she really enjoys watching. If the players grow into their roles and keep up the intensity, the team could have some fun.

Westminster Owls

1997 record: 12-3.

Coach: Michele Crouse.

Top players: Theresa Schmitz, Sr., OH; Kelly McShane, Sr., OH; Abbie Cornett, Sr., MH; Courtney Johnson, Jr., OH; Sam Renfrow, Jr., OH.

Outlook: Graduation stung the defending county champion Owls. Westminster has only three seniors and one junior back from last year's team that had the misfortune to draw perennial power Severna Park in the opening round of the region playoffs. Crouse said this is a team that won't have one standout star, but should possess a bunch of talented players. The Owls have played very well throughout the preseason, and their offense looks good. Crouse said she's hopeful for good defense, something the team will need for big success. "We're going to have to be scrappy," said Crouse.

Top 15

1. Centennial

2. Severna Park

3. River Hill

4. Mount Hebron

5. Dulaney

6. South River

7. Lansdowne

8. Loch Raven

9. Liberty

10. Glen Burnie

11. Glenelg

12. Chesapeake-AA

13. Perry Hall

14. St. Mary's

15. Catonsville

Pub Date: 9/02/98

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