1998 All-Metro volleyball teams

November 27, 1998|By Stan Rappaport

Player of the Year

Lisa Chapman, Centennial, senior, setter: The setter for three straight state championship teams, Chapman has established herself as one of the best. "She makes a bad pass look good," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom. "She makes everything look so easy. She never panics." The Eagles graduated seven players from last year's 20-0 team, and Chapman had to lead a young and inexperienced team. "This year she really helped keep the team together and focused," Bossom said. "They were able to work though difficult situations because of her experience and calm leadership on the court." Chapman, a repeat first-team All-Metro selection, averaged 7.1 assists and 1.1 kills per game, and tied for the team lead with 49 aces. She also had 32 digs and 31 blocks. The 5-6 Chapman is steady, and uses her experience to lead by example. Her teammates know they can always count on her. "She's the hallmark of consistency," said Bossom, who added that Chapman had 455 assists last year and 462 this year, including 35 in the 3-0 Class 2A state championship win against North Hagerstown. "She has very good court sense and can anticipate where the ball is going." Chapman, who blocks well, also learned some new tactics this season. "She improved on her deceptiveness, and at looking at what the other team is doing and moving the ball to the most advantageous position," Bossom said.

Coach of the Year

Debbie Hanley, Mount Carmel: Hanley's basic coaching philosophy is this: "I try to be very positive. After each match we go over what's good and what's bad and I make sure my list of good things is longer than my list of bad things. I'm not a big proponent of yelling at the kids. I think you get a whole lot further being positive and build- ing up their confidence. Then, they're much more receptive to criticism." It worked. Until this season, the Cougars had never had a winning varsity record, but that did not stop them from contending for the Catholic League championship. After going 8-13 last year, the Cougars rebounded to finish 13-5, reach the league tournament semifinals and flirt with a spot in the Top 15. During the regular season, the Cougars upset both of the tournament finalists, eventual champ and No. 13 Mercy as well as runner-up and No. 14 Spalding. Hanley, who coached the Cougars from 1990 to 1993 and from 1996, nearly missed it all. After giving birth to her second child in the middle of last season, she had planned not to return in 1998, but five returning seniors talked her into coming back. "I told this group when they were sophomores they were going to be the best team Mount Carmel ever had," said Hanley. "I guess it was selfish on my part, but I wanted to come back one more time."

First team at a glance

Melaney Heagy, Dulaney, senior, hitter: A team leader and inspiration to her younger teammates, Heagy led Dulaney with 3.5 kills per game, totaling 165 for the season. "She hits the ball hard and can hit both ways, cross-court and down the line," said Dulaney coach Ian Blanchard. "She is very accurate." An exceptional defensive player, Heagy had 94 digs and 23 blocks. "She anticipates very well on defense. She always seems to be in the right place at the right time," said Blanchard, who added that Heagy jumps well and "plays bigger than her size [5-9]." Heagy, a team captain, served at 93 percent with 32 aces. "Her potential has not been tapped into yet," Blanchard said.

Kristina Kaltreider, Mount Hebron, senior, hitter: Mount Hebron coach Kedre Fairley was most pleased this season by Kaltreider's leadership. "She was more serious this year," Fairley said. "She wasn't a captain, but she was a leader on the floor. She was a real motivator." She was an excellent player, too. Always one of Howard County's hardest hitters, the 5-9 Kaltreider came into her own this season. "She played a lot smarter this year," said Fairley. Kaltreider placed the ball better, and used what the opposition gave her, often tipping the ball into open spaces. But what made her so dangerous was her hard hitting. She led the Vikings with 191 kills (83.6 percent accuracy), and made 83.7 percent of her serves, including a team-high 57 aces.

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