Mount de Sales on mission

Sailors volleyball team, winners of six straight matches, seeks elusive IAAM A Conference championship

October 12, 2005|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

For the past couple years, Mount de Sales' volleyball team has been content to take things one step at a time. Now the Sailors see the next step as an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship.

A year after losing in the title match to unbeaten Institute of Notre Dame, the Sailors are tied for first place in the A Conference with three matches to go.

After falling to Chapelgate in four games Sept. 20, the Sailors (10-1) have won six straight matches, including victories over St. Paul's and Archbishop Spalding. Mount de Sales and St. Paul's now share first place in the A Conference with 6-1 records, while Spalding dropped to third at 3-2 after last week's competition.

"We went into every game confident," Sailors coach Kenny Mills said. "We come out strong and play a fast, quick game. We really mix up the plays a lot. We run a lot of plays and force the other teams to make quick decisions."

Kristina Mercier, a first-team All-Baltimore County selection last season, leads the Sailors with 3.9 kills per game as well as 2.9 digs and a 94 percent serving average. The 5-foot-11 outside hitter had 16 kills in Thursday's win over Spalding.

Kelly Nevin, a 5-11 middle hitter, averages 2.3 kills per game, and setter Lindsay Driggers averages 7.0 assists per game.

Driggers had 30 assists against Spalding, and Nevin and 5-7 outside hitter Kelsey Schluth had eight kills each.

The Sailors return to action against Mercy tomorrow.

Cardinals still on roll

For most of the five years that Donald Anderson has coached Calvert Hall's water polo team, one of his best players has lived in his home - his son Zack Anderson. Now, two of them live there.

The Andersons are hosting Filip Kisdobranski, a Serbian exchange student, who just happens to be a strong water polo player.

Add Kisdobranski to a Cardinals team that has seven seniors, including Zack Anderson and James Malone, and Calvert Hall looks even more imposing than it has in the recent past.

That's saying something, because the Cardinals have swept the previous four Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championships. They have not lost to an MIAA opponent in more than three years.

By last weekend, the Cardinals were 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference. They had all but wrapped up the top seed for the MIAA championships on Oct. 22.

In their three MIAA wins (before yesterday's scheduled game with Gilman), the Cardinals outscored Loyola, Gilman and McDonogh, 45-3.

Although the Cardinals have won nine straight against Loyola, the Dons continue to be their toughest competition. Many of those contests have been decided by one goal, and their last meeting Sept. 28 was a 6-2 Calvert Hall win.

For Donald Anderson, the winning strategy is a simple one.

"Be in good condition, and play good defense," he said. "We don't do anything fancy, no trick plays. The guys are in good condition, and they do the fundamental things very well."

Defensive Pointers

In nine games this fall, Sparrows Point's girls soccer team has trailed for a total of two minutes. That leaves 718 minutes with the Pointers in the lead.

Defense is making all the difference as the Pointers are 8-1 overall and 5-1 in Baltimore County's Division II.

Sweeper Kristen Collison, backs Gabrielle Antalffy and Shannon Harlow, stopper Sarah Haines and goalie Amanda Cowan have shut out seven opponents.

They get help from the midfield, where Jackie Moser often marks the opposition's top attacking threat. In Thursday's 1-0 win over Towson, Moser shut down the Generals' Emily Franke and also scored the game-winner.

Towson managed just three shots, and Cowan saved them all. The junior goalie faced the most action against Catonsville, stopping all seven of the Comets' shots to preserve a 1-0 victory.

"I attribute our success to our whole defense. Sometimes our defense is so good, Amanda only has to make three saves," said coach Conrad Snyder, last year's Baltimore County Coach of the Year, who took the Pointers to the Class 1A state title game.

Blazers still tops in B

Notre Dame Prep's volleyball team is looking for an encore after winning the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference title last season.

With five senior starters back in the lineup, the Blazers, scheduled to play Catholic yesterday, were unbeaten through their first 11 games and 8-0 in the B Conference.

They defeated two A Conference foes including Oct. 4's four-game win over Seton Keough in which Brittany Phillips had 17 kills and nine digs. Coach Kim Bryson's Blazers have remained atop the B Conference by nipping Bryn Mawr and Maryvale in five games.

Phillips, a 5-9 outside hitter, averages 3.4 kills per game, and 6-foot middle hitter Grace Carmen averages 2.4. Setter McKenna Sigai has 5.1 sets per game, and fellow seniors Chastity Dunnaville and Kelly Seifert also make strong contributions.

Botek commits to Ga.

McDonogh's Anne-Marie Botek has committed to swim next year at Georgia, the defending NCAA women's swimming champion.

Botek led the Eagles to a third straight IAAM championship in January. She holds seven McDonogh records and is a 12-time National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-American.

Locals at Academy

Five Baltimore County teams will compete at the 10th Annual Basketball Academy of Baltimore City on Jan. 5-7 at Morgan State's Hill Field House.

Boys teams from Owings Mills, Parkville and Woodlawn as well as girls teams from New Town and Milford Mill will join a competitive field.

The boys bracket includes Walbrook, Dunbar, Carver, Lake Clifton, Mervo, Southwestern, Aberdeen, Fairmont Heights and Gwynn Park along with Our Savior Lutheran from the Bronx and Imhotep from Philadelphia. Western, City, Gwynn Park and Riverdale Baptist round out the girls field.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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