For Orange Crush girls, success is no tall order

Baltimore County-based 16 & under volleyball team lacks height, but not wins


May 07, 2000|By Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield | Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Volleyball coach Ian Blanchard has a knack for turning not-so-tall teams into winners.

Last fall, he guided Dulaney, with no player taller than 5-feet-10, to the state Class 4A championship. Now, his Time Out Orange Crush 16-and-under girls club team, with no one over 5-10 1/2 , is headed to the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships July 1-5 in Louisville, Ky.

The Orange Crush is the first Time Out club team, sponsored by Time Out for Sports, to qualify for the junior nationals.

Towson freshman Stephanie Kines, a 5-10 1/2 middle hitter, is the Orange Crush's tallest player. Despite regularly facing teams with a handful of girls between 6-0 and 6-4, the Orange Crush has remained No. 1 in the Chesapeake region rankings all season.

To beat the taller teams, the Orange Crush has relied on players with impressive vertical jumps and on exceptional back-row defense by Bruna Fonseca (Dulaney) and Becky Auster (Beth Tfiloh).

Made up of girls from Baltimore County, the Orange Crush emerged last month as regional champ over strong - and tall - teams from Columbia, western and southern Maryland and Montgomery County as well as opponents from Delaware, Washington and northern Virginia.

Also on the team are hitters Veronica Briggs and Jennifer Wylie (Dulaney); Ashley Windisch (Towson); Kallie Wasserman (Owings Mills); and setter Michelle Clark (Towson). All of the players except Wasserman, a junior, are freshmen and sophomores.

"What's really nice is this is improving the play for the county," said Blanchard, The Sun's 1999 All-Metro Coach of the Year.

Putting herself first

No one in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland has been able to catch Mount de Sales shot putter Natalie Williams for two years.

Earlier this season, the senior threw a career-best 35 feet. Only Westminster's All-Metro Kiara Adams, with a 40-2 toss, has thrown farther this season.

Williams, who has been throwing only since her sophomore year, won the Catholic League title last outdoor season with a toss of 34-6. She finished second at the Maryland Private School Meet each of the last two springs.

During the 1999-2000 indoor season, she went undefeated and won the IAAM title. No one in Baltimore City or County bettered her 33-6 indoor mark.

Next year, Williams will move on to Goucher College, where she will continue to compete while pursuing a degree in elementary education. She carries a 3.7 grade-point average and scored 1,230 on her SAT.

Badminton champs, again

Carver's badminton team capped its third straight unbeaten season by winning a third straight Baltimore City team title last week.

The Bears (13-0) likely will add to their accomplishments at the City individual championships May 11-12 at Poly and Western. Ebony Scott, at No. 1 singles, and LaKesha Beale and Maricia Humphrey, at No. 1 doubles, did not lose a match all season.

The rest of the starting lineup came close to perfection: Shalawnda Adams (10-2), Patrice Johnson (11-2) and Tonia Gorham (11-2) finish out the singles lineup, while Tiffany Durant and Dominique Johnson (10-3) and Tiara Stanley and Tasha Ervin (12-1) formed the doubles tandems.

Moving on

Teone Carroll, of Lake Clifton, has signed to play basketball at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. Carroll earned All-Metro honors as a junior in leading the Lakers to the state Class 4A championship in 1999.

Catonsville's Erin Coberth, a second-team All-Metro field hockey selection, has committed to play field hockey and lacrosse at Salisbury State.

Coberth led the Comets to the Baltimore County hockey championship last fall.

TD Club dinner

Ravens coach Brian Billick will be the keynote speaker at The Baltimore Touchdown Club's "Super 22" awards dinner May 18 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 300 Light Street.

The event honors 22 offensive players and 22 defensive players that member coaches deem to be the best juniors last fall.

Tickets for the event, to benefit the Maryland Hospital for Children, are $30.

For more information, call Roger Wrenn (410-396-9274) or Mike Working (410-644-3300).

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