Freshman middle hitter Tursell turns heads at St. Mary's

Alumni report


The word is already out about St. Mary's College freshman middle hitter Rebecca Tursell around the Capital Athletic Conference.

"A couple of the teams we've been matched up against, after the first match you can hear the coach yell, `Where's No. 7, find No. 7,' " said Tursell, who was an All-Howard County selection at Glenelg.

The 5-foot-10 Tursell has pumped new life into a volleyball program that recorded only six match victories last season and has already bolted to a 15-13 start.

Tursell has been a freshman sensation since her first day on the court for St. Mary's, leading the CAC in hitting percentage (.393), kills (419), kills per game (4.11), solo blocks (64), total blocks (135) and block assists (71). She peaked in a match against Stevens Tech with a collegiate career-high 29 blocks.

Tursell is also second in the CAC in blocks per game (1.32).

"It's kind of hard to know that this [level] is now going to be expected of me," Tursell said. "But it just makes you want to push harder so you can come out stronger the next year and be that much better."

Two other St. Mary's freshmen volleyball players from the Baltimore area are off to excellent starts. Megan Graydon (Glenelg) leads the team in assists a game (9.45), and Stephanie Scurci (South Carroll) is first in service aces a game (0.66) and second in kills a game (2.54).

White strikes early

Ohio State junior fullback Stan White Jr. (Gilman) caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Troy Smith, giving the Buckeyes a first down at the Penn State 44-yard line with just three minutes gone in the first quarter of their nationally televised game in Happy Valley.

It is White's lone catch of the season, as the 6-foot-3, 242-pounder is used primarily as a blocking back and an H-back.

Slessinger soars

Melanie Slessinger (North Carroll), who leads the Elizabethtown College field hockey team in scoring with 17 goals and also has four assists, was named the Commonwealth Conference's Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season.

Slessinger scored four goals in two games last week as Elizabethtown went 2-0. The Blue Jays (11-3 overall, 3-2 CC) are ranked 18th nationally in Division III.

Hayes helps `D'

A stingy Howard University defense is being sparked by 6-3, 390-pound senior defensive tackle Jesse Hayes (Woodlawn) who has made 27 tackles this season.

Also helping the Bison defense is another senior from the Baltimore area, linebacker Mykle Bouie (Randallstown), who has made 16 tackles.

Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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