Teams at a glance

September 02, 1999|By STAN RAPPAPORT

Atholton Raiders

1998 record: 9-10 overall, 6-7 league

Coach: Bruce Lindblad

Classification: 2A

Top players: Lauren Mickley, Sr., OH; Jen Poston, Sr., S; Amanda Ramsey, Sr., S; Julie Frostbutter, Jr., MH; Jessica Poston, Jr., MH/OH.

Outlook: The Raiders won seven more matches last season than the year before, and Lindblad believes this year's team can better that success. The squad is more well-rounded this year, Lindblad said, and has a strong bench. "We have better athletes," Lindblad said. "They're hustling, they're talking better, and their attitude is better than last year." The Raiders have three solid hitters, Mickey and sisters Jen and Jessica Poston. Jen Poston and Ramsey will direct the 6-2 offense, and senior Tina Ellinger will contribute in the middle. Lindblad said last year's team had good passing and serving skills but expects improvement this season. Lindblad's wife, Dean, is a volunteer varsity assistant coach, and his daughter, Beth Mazanec, is a volunteer JV assistant. "I think it's going to be a fun season," Lindblad said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Centennial Eagles

1998 record: 17-3 overall, 11-2 league

Coach: Mike Bossom

Classification: 2A

Top players: Kim Emrich, Sr., OH; Beth Stradling, Sr., OH; Amanda Olsen, Sr., MH; Lindsay Feller, Soph., MH.

Outlook: The Eagles have won 11 county titles -- they had won seven in a row before Mount Hebron derailed them last season -- and are favored again this year. For the first time in three seasons, Lisa Chapman, last year's Howard County and All-Metro Player of the Year, won't be setting for the Eagles. That's the most noticeable difference this season for the Eagles, who have four seniors, eight juniors and one sophomore. Bossom will start the season playing a 6-2 attack, with juniors Michelle LeDonne and Vanessa Neuworth doing the setting. "They are improving every day," Bossom said of LeDonne and Neuworth. "They are eager to learn and are working very hard. Their skills are very good. Right now they just need varsity experience." Emrich, a first-team All-County selection and Stradling are veterans with leadership skills. Olsen and the 6-foot Feller have shown good improvement over last year, said Bossom. Other players who will contribute include juniors Jackie Case (BCS), Becca Decesare (RH) and Katie Cothran (MH). Bossom said the team is fundamentally strong and "capable of doing what last year's team did [in the state playoffs]." The Eagles won a record eighth state title last season, the most by any Maryland school.

Chapelgate Flames

1998 record: 10-10 overall, 3-2 AIS

Coach: Chris Moxley

Classification: IAAM B1 Division

Top players: Laura Starsoneck, Sr., MH/S; Carly Fyfe, Soph., OH; Meghan Klein, Jr., BCS; Stephanie Litt, Jr., BCS

Outlook: Moxley is excited to be in the more competitive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B1 Division. "It'll be much harder, but we'll have more league games and facing different teams," Moxley said. "It will be a good test for our players." Right now, Moxley is just trying to fit the players to the right position. "We're trying to rebuild positions with people that are not used to playing those positions," she said. "The individual skills are there, it's a matter of putting it together as a team." Other players that will contribute include juniors Hope Mesisinger (OH/S) and Amanda Hughes (OH) and sophomore Gillian Wrightson (MH). "It's going to be a tough but exciting season," Moxley said. "I expect us to be competitive and to hold our own."

Glenelg Gladiators

1998 record: 10-6 overall, 8-5 league

Coach: Ciaran Lesikar

Classification: 1A

Top players: Nicole Barnoski, Sr., S; Melanie Mills, Soph., S/OH; Lauren Culler, Jr., OH.

Outlook: The Gladiators are a work-in-progress. "By the end of the year, I think we'll be able to play very good volleyball," said Lesikar, who's optimistic that things may turn around sooner than later. Barnoski and Mills are returning starters and will run the 6-2 offense. Culler will be one of the Gladiators' go-to hitters. Senior Tracey Hinton (OH/BCS) will share the captain duties with Barnoski, and sophomore backcourt specialist Bianca Marchany, who played at Wilde Lake last season, also will contribute. "We've got a number of new players, and it's going to take a little while to develop," said Lesikar, whose team includes two freshmen and two sophomores. "They'll real scrappy, and have a positive attitude. I'm enthusiastic."

Hammond Golden Bears

1998 record: 8-9 overall, 5-8

Coach: Ken McLaughlin

Classification: 2A

Top players: Julie Bixler, Soph., OH; Katie Wright, Soph., MH.

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