All-harford County Volleyball

High Schools

December 14, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kayani Turner

John Carroll, senior

After watching Turner, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter, power ball after ball to the court during her dominating 27-kill performance in the Patriots' win over Chapelgate in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final, it would have been easy to forget that Turner had never played volleyball when she arrived at John Carroll.

As a freshman, Turner was simply trying to get in shape for basketball. Four years later, Turner has a scholarship to play at the University of Illinois and a reputation as one of the metro area's most dominant players.

Athletic, powerful and intimidating, Turner finished this season with 324 kills (more than 5 1/2 per game), 23 blocks, 145 service points and 54 aces. Turner, who is in the prestigious Time Out club program and was recruited by nearly 100 schools, also showed a much-improved all-around game and stellar leadership skills.

"She got them in the huddle before the championship match, and I don't know what she said, but they came out ready to play," said Patriots coach Greg Cullison. "I gave her free rein because it was easier for kids to hear stuff coming from her. She was a big asset, and not just as a player."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Greg Cullison

John Carroll

Cullison is not much on fiery pre-match speeches, but that doesn't mean the 17-year coach didn't use different measures to motivate the Patriots during their run to a 19-1 season and the IAAM A Conference title.

There were the constant reminders that the Patriots, who won the B Conference title in 2002 and earned a promotion to the A Conference this fall, were up against stiffer competition.

There were discussions that John Carroll's position as league favorite attached a bull's-eye to their back.

And then there was even one instance when Cullison, a no-nonsense coach who expects his team to have fun but still be all business, threw the Patriots out of practice because they weren't focused enough.

All of Cullison's moves, and the intense and long practices, were aimed at getting John Carroll to peak at the right time. That certainly happened in a four-game victory over Chapelgate in the IAAM A Conference title match. It was the fourth title (one in A Conference, one in B and two Harford County championships) for Cullison at John Carroll.

THE TEAMS

Player of the Year: Kayani Turner, John Carroll, senior, outside hitter Coach of the Year: Greg Cullison, John Carroll

First team

Name School Yr. Pos. Comment

Christina Barry C.M. Wright Sr. Set Ran team's offense, finishing with 125 assists, 64 aces

Laura Canton C.M. Wright Sr. MH Flashed power (102 kills), improved all-around game

Rachel Konopacki N. Harford Sr. Set Showed Hawks way with 170 assists, 85 kills

Brandiss Taylor Edgewood Sr. MH Just 5-4, but played huge for overachieving Rams

Amanda Willey Bel Air Sr. OH Targeted most every point, still averaged 3 kills a game

Brie Williams John Carroll Sr. OH Complementary to Turner, did everything well

Second team Hitters: Amanda Eliason, North Harford, Sr.; Samantha Dorsey, C.M. Wright, Jr.; Colleen Egan, John Carroll, Sr.; Kamil Maclin, Edgewood, Sr. Setters: Jessica Foerster, Fallston, Sr.; Ginny Tilghman, John Carroll, So. Defensive specialist: Katie Walsh, C.M. Wright, Sr.

Note: Teams selected by Jeff Zrebiec after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.