Area fans soon to hear about Buzz

Baltimore Buzz brings women's pro game here in new Mid-Atlantic league


July 02, 2002|By Jesse Colvin | Jesse Colvin,SUN STAFF

Baltimore has become home to the Baltimore Buzz, a charter member of a women's professional volleyball league.

"It's great not having to travel overseas anymore," said team member Monica Scott, referring to players going abroad after college. "Now we can play in our back yard."

Scott, a setter, is also an assistant volleyball coach at Morgan State University. She is one of 10 players named to the initial roster of the Buzz, which is scheduled to meet the D.C. Dragons in a free exhibition game at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the U.S. Naval Academy's Halsey Field House. The regular-season schedule is still being finalized.

"It's a great opportunity," Scott said.

Inspiration for the National Women's Professional Volleyball League, which is in the formative stages, came to the league's founder in 1997. Charlie Frazier watched Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant's sister, Sharia, play at Temple University. He was more than impressed.

He wanted to know if players like her had a place to play in the United States after college besides the Olympics. The answer was no.

He thought that should change.

Ever since then, Frazier, a videographer from Philadelphia, has been putting the league together. He declined to comment on how the four-team league is being financed.

The Buzz expects to compete against teams from New York, Philadelphia and Washington. Frazier hopes to expand after play begins in the Mid-Atlantic.

"Eventually, we hope to have 30 teams across the country, but right now we are concentrating on the East Coast," he said. "Teams in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., are in development."

Why did Frazier choose Baltimore?

"I know Baltimore is a great sports town, and we hope to create a rivalry with the D.C. Dragons," he said.

The Buzz, which has yet to decide on a home arena, has filled its roster with players who are from the region or went to school in the area.

They include Kate Hannas, (Maryland), who was named 1996 All-Howard County out of Mount Hebron; Kelli Marsh (Towson); Joanne Marshall (UMBC), who played for volleyball power Northern of Calvert County; Malia Price (Morgan State); Jaime Pryor (Towson); and Amy Unger (UMBC).

Elsewhere in the league, four players from the 1997 Temple team are expected to play. They include Tamu Cooper, who has played professionally in Europe since college, Frazier said.

Sharia Bryant lives in Los Angeles and is a new mother. She will be indirectly involved with the NWPVL this year but might see action next season, Frazier said.

Sun staff writer Mary Beth Kozak contributed to this article.

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