CSM fall sports in full swing

Volleyball out to 8-4 start, soc­cer teams at .500; women’s cross coun­try be­gins cam­paign

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

With the month of Septem­ber com­ing to an end to­day, the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land fall sports pro­grams will look to gather some mo­men­tum in Oc­to­ber prior to their re­spec­tive Re­gion XX tour­na­ments.

The CSM volleyball team has en­joyed the most suc­cess this fall, over­com­ing a slow start in sev­eral tough non­con­fer­ence matches to win its last four out­ings and im­prove to 8-4 over­all, in­clud­ing a 3-0 mark in the Mary­land Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence. The Hawks are among the early fa­vorites for a Re­gion XX ti­tle this fall.

On Tues­day, CSM made quick work of Chesapeake Col­lege in a 25-8, 25-16, 25-15 sweep for its fourth straight victory. Fresh­man set­ter Kianna Bopp, a Northern High School grad­u­ate from Chesapeake Beach, led the way with 24 as­sists, while Ash­ley Hall (La Plata High School grad­u­ate from Hugh­esville) had eight kills, El­iz­a­beth Ra­van­cho (West­lake High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf) had six and Tay­lor Ha­gen (Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Hunt­ing­town) added five. Fresh­man Sab­rina Driver, a McDonough High School from White Plains, had 13 digs and Brandie Todd, a La Plata High School grad­u­ate from Char­lotte Hall, added eight.

Last week against Northern Vir­ginia, the Hawks needed five sets to ex­tend their win streak to three as they even­tu­ally pre­vailed 25-18, 15-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-12. Bopp again led the charge with 27 as­sists, while Ha­gen had 15 kills, Hall added nine and Ra­van­cho had six. Todd recorded 34 digs, while Driver had 22 and Hall and Ra­van­cho posted 20 digs each.

Ear­lier in the week against Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege, CSM made quick work of that squad as well en route to a 25-17, 25-8, 25-11 sweep. Bopp had 21 as­sists, while Ha­gen had 15 kills and Hall added six. Todd recorded five digs, while Bopp had four and both Driver and Ra­van­cho added three digs each.

CSM’s win streak be­gan Sept. 9 at Howard Com­mu­nity Col­lege when the Hawks pre­vailed in five sets de­spite be­ing outscored 106-100 over the course of the match. CSM nar­rowly won the first two sets, 26-24 and 25-23, dropped the next two then pre­vailed in the fifth, 15-9. Bopp had 23 as­sists, Ha­gen and Ra­van­cho both had nine kills each and Todd recorded 24 digs.

The CSM men’s and women’s soc­cer teams sit squarely at .500 fol­low­ing Tues­day’s home con­tests against Har­ford Com­mu­nity Col­lege. The men im­proved to 3-3-1 (33-1 MDJUCO) with a 3-2 victory, while the women slipped to 5-5 (1-4 MDJUCO) cour­tesy of a 5-0 set­back.

Tues­day, the CSM men edged Har­ford on a day when sopho­more Je­hoshua Otuya, a St. Mary’s Ryken High School grad­u­ate from Hol­ly­wood, recorded a hat trick. Otuya scored the first goal of the game and the last to break the 2-2 dead­lock and pro­pel the Hawks to their third win of the sea­son.

“A lot of the schools that we face get play­ers from a broad range of places, but we’re ba­si­cally field­ing a team from the tri-county area,” CSM first-year head men’s soc­cer coach Tom Pollert said. “We’re com­ing to­gether re­ally well and I think the guys are buy­ing into what we want to ac­com­plish on the field.”

In ad­di­tion the three goals from Otuya, who leads the team with 10 this fall, Pollert was quick to praise the ef­forts of goalie Ben Kelly, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate from Lex­ing­ton Park, and his sup­por ting cast of de­fend­ers that in­cludes Di­lan Bing­ham (Thomas Stone High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf), Will Parr (Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Hunt­ing­town), Spencer Ramirez (La Plata High School grad­u­ate from La Plata), Bran­don Her­scher (North Point High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf) and Matt Dzei­dzic (Northern High School grad­u­ate from Owings).

“Other than the game we had against [CCBC] Es­sex (an 8-1 loss on Sept. 20), we’ve been play­ing well,” Pollert said. “At 3-3-1 we’re right where we thought we would be at this point. I think we’ll find out more next week when we travel to Chesapeake Col­lege for a game and then we play Cape Fear (N.C.), but we’re re­ally start­ing to jell as a team.”

In an ear­lier con­test Tues­day, the CSM women were not as for­tu­nate. The Hawks suf­fered their sec­ond straight set­back and their fourth de­feat in their last five con­tests, with each of the four losses com­ing via shutouts.

The women de­feated CCBC-Ca­tonsville 4-2 on Sept. 22 when the Hawks over­came a 2-0 deficit with one goal each from Taya Stith, Jazmin Sum­mers (Chop­ti­con High School grad­u­ate from Me­chan­icsville), Julia Lesko (McDonough High School grad­u­ate from La Plata) and El­iz­a­beth Sch­wenk (Northern High School grad­u­ate from Dunkirk). Alexis Porter­field, a Gwynn Park High School grad­u­ate from Welcome, had two as­sists that day.

The CSM women’s cross coun­try team opened the sea­son last Satur­day by com­pet­ing in the Hor­net Har­rier In­vi­ta­tional at Shenan­doah Uni­ver­sity in Winch­ester, Va. Han­nah Hall, a King’s Chris­tian Academy grad­u­ate from Cal­i­for­nia, had the best show­ing for the Hawks, com­plet­ing the course in 26 min­utes 46.1 sec­onds, good for 66th over­all. Des­tiny Smith (35:34.2) was 84th.

The women’s cross coun­try team will head to Goucher Col­lege on Oct. 8 and Hood Col­lege in Frederick on Oct. 15 be­fore end­ing the fall in the Re­gion XX Cham­pi­onships in Hager­stown on Oct. 29.

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