Can Bucs end Car­o­line’s ti­tle hold?

QA’s sports height, skill and ex­pe­ri­ence

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

The big story last sea­son on the high school vol­ley­ball scene was the rise of Kent Is­land, which de­feated peren­nial Bay­side Con­fer­ence cham­pion North Car­o­line in the Class 2A East Sec­tion II fi­nal.

North Car­o­line had beaten Kent Is­land twice dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son be­fore the Buc­ca­neers got re­venge in the post­sea­son. How­ever, the top Mid-Shore team in the play­offs was no match for Ris­ing Sun, which won the re­gion and state cham­pi­onship, los­ing only one game the en­tire post­sea­son.

Per­ryville won the 1A East ti­tle with a 3-0 win over Po­comoke be­fore fall­ing to state cham­pion Smiths­burg 3-0 in the state semis.

That was last year. Ev­ery start­ing lineup and ev­ery ros­ter has changed. What will un­fold this sea­son?

Here’s a look at the lo­cal teams:

Kent Is­land The Buc­ca­neers grad­u­ated three se­nior starters and suf­fered the loss of two prom­i­nent sopho­mores to re­lo­ca­tion, but should again be highly com­pet­i­tive.

“This year we are striv­ing to be a good de­fen­sive team and hope to con­tend in the Bay­side Con­fer­ence. We still have our nu­cleus in­tact from last year and are look­ing to build around them,” head coach Pa­trick Hop­kins said.

The Bucs 13-player ros­ter con­sists of se­niors Ok­sana Fesz (OH), Hannah Mo­ran (MH), Daryn Ha­j­tun (RH), Chelsea John­son (D), Julien Camp­bell (mid­dle blocker), Macey Strunk (OH) and Jahtera Kiah (RH), ju­niors Jen­nifer Hous­ton (S) and Nina Kellnhauser (D), and sopho­mores De­siree Hanks (L), Ron­nie Meyr (D), Bethany Doyle (S) and Vic­to­ria Zens (MH).

“Our goal this year is to im­prove of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively with each pass­ing game in or­der to fin­ish strong in the Bay­side Con­fer­ence. This team com­mu­ni­cates well and plays tena­cious de­fense,” Hop­kins said.

Queen Anne’s The 2A Lions should be very com­pet­i­tive with height, skill, and re­turn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. They re­turn nine se­niors and three ju­niors and picked up five new­com­ers.

Se­niors Kai­ley Boomer (OH), Re­becca Clay (OH), Emma Feaga (OH) and ju­nior Al­lie Har­ris (MB) are pro­jected to lead the of­fense at the net.

“They have been work­ing dili­gently with se­nior Kayla Blann (S) and are mak­ing great con­nec­tions,” head coach Kim Re­menter-Betts said. “I am con­fi­dent that Kayla will take com­mand of the court and con­tinue to make ad­just­ments to spread out our at­tack.”

Betts also likes what she’s seen from ju­nior libero Syd­ney Par­sons. “She has made huge gains with her over­all ball con­trol, de­fense, and cov­er­age, and I look for her to cover a lot of court this sea­son.”

Queen Anne’s topped Wi­comico 3-0 in the open­ing round of the 2A East Sec­tion II play­offs last year be­fore fall­ing to surg­ing Kent Is­land 3-0 in the semis. The Lions hope to ex­tend their post­sea­son this year.

“This a very spe­cial group of girls — all com­peti­tors and all busi­ness. They work hard. They are fo­cused. They mo­ti­vate and push each other, and they are al­ways seek­ing feed­back. I am su­per ex­cited to open the sea­son,” Betts said.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Colonel Richardson’s Mor­gan Wil­loughby, cen­ter, spikes the ball for a kill against Po­comoke in the Class 1A East Sec­tion II fi­nal last sea­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.