Dulaney aims to be notch better in '06



Dulaney's Marah Schmitz already has plans for next November.

The best hitter and the top all-around player on the Lions' volleyball team, Schmitz aims to be standing amid her Dulaney teammates as they accept the state Class 4A championship trophy in Ritchie Coliseum at the University of Maryland.

After last week's 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 loss to Gaithersburg in the Class 4A final, Schmitz preferred to look forward.

"We want to come back next year," said the 5-foot-7 outside hitter who smashed a game-high 12 kills against Gaithersburg. "We're going to get everyone psyched up to come into the season next year with their heads ready to win."

Despite the loss, coach Cary Lyon's team was not lamenting its inability to add another state title to those Dulaney won in 1999 and 2000. After an 18-1 season that included the Baltimore County championship and their first regional title in three years, the Lions had plenty to be happy about.

Schmitz led the way with 2.62 kills per game, while 6-1 middle hitter Chelsea Manning averaged 1.95 and 5-10 outside hitter Stacy McWilliams averaged 1.91. McWilliams also served 97 aces during the season.

Setter Allison Kilchenstein set up most of those kills, averaging 7.26 assists, including 24 in the state final.

Saying goodbye

Mount de Sales senior Kristina Mercier closed out an exceptional volleyball career by leading the Sailors to the championship matches of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference and the Maryland/D.C. Private Schools tournaments.

The 5-11 All-County outside hitter had 24 kills in the private schools finale against Good Counsel, a marathon that came down to a 15-9 Good Counsel win in the fifth game. She also had 27 kills in the semifinal win over Maret. The senior had 27 digs in the two matches and served perfectly on 39 attempts with three aces.

Mercier, a club veteran, finished the season averaging 4.35 kills as well as 3.1 digs. She served at 96 percent.

"She is truly a well-rounded player and really knows the game," said Sailors coach Kenny Mills. "She doesn't only bring power and strength to the game but a mind-set and intelligence that in any given moment can turn a game or match around."

Mercier, who has a 3.64 grade point average, is being recruited by several college programs. She also plays basketball for the Sailors.

Towson's new starters

Towson's goalie, Andrew Gisriel, was a first-year starter on a soccer team that returned only one starter overall. Five sophomores and four juniors started as well.

Yet the Generals, one of the youngest, smallest and least experienced teams Randy Dase has ever coached, managed to play their way into last weekend's Class 3A state title game, where they battled to a 1-1 tie with 14-time champ River Hill.

"Our goalkeeper had one of the finest performances I have ever seen in a high school game, let alone in his first state championship game," Dase said. "We are usually quiet at Towson, but this accomplishment by a group of youngsters who couldn't win a big game until regionals and states is amazing."

Sophomores Wils Alpern (10 goals, five assists) and Michael Balcher (seven goals), along with junior Joey Chapline (six goals) led the Generals to their third Class 3A North regional crown in their past six title-game berths and into their third state championship game in the past four seasons. Towson (10-4-2) also tied River Hill (14-1-2) for the title in 2003.

"We spent the past three months growing as a team. We started to jell in the regionals," Dase said.

Lions get a boost

Maggie Kosloski had not touched a volleyball until 60 days before she tried out for Maryvale's team in August. After one summer camp, the 6-1 freshman gave the Lions' offense quite a kick with 84 kills and a team-high .319 kill percentage. She also had 45 blocks.

Adding Kosloski to the Lions' veteran leaders, Liz Jung and Shannon Dougherty, boosted Maryvale to 11-7 and a third-place finish in the IAAM B Conference.

Outside hitter Jung had 130 kills, many on assists from setter Dougherty. Each served at 93 percent. Jung and Veronica Arnold were the team's top passers. Middle hitter Libby Boddiford had 30 blocks.

With Dougherty as the only senior, the future bodes well as most of the Lions plan to play club volleyball this season.

A Wolverines first

Laquan Merritte had two touchdowns, Kelvin Johnson and Paul Smith scored once each, and Jimmy Ravenscroft returned an interception for another score in Western Tech's come-from-behind, 35-12 Class 1A North regional victory at Catoctin on Friday night.

Down 12-6 in the third quarter after a 6-6 halftime tie, the Wolverines, coached by Al Lagon, scored 31 unanswered points for the program's first playoff win. Maurice Wilson had two sacks, Carl Hamiel ran for a two-point conversion and Adrian Garcia kicked an extra point for the Wolverines, who play the regional title game Friday night at Brunswick, which defeated Pikesville, 68-42.

Kressman hits 100

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