Player of the Year: Tara Stradling, Glenelg

The Class 2A state champion Gladiators' unbeaten machine revolved around their versatile 5-foot-9 junior setter. Stradling ran the show as Glenelg went 20-0 to win its first state volleyball title since 1995 and its first Howard County championship.

Stradling is also the first non-senior to win Player ofthe Year in at least 15 years.

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Stradling had 467 assists, served 92 percent, was second on the team in aces (42), had 36 kills and 107 digs.

A two-time All-Howard County and three-year varsity setter, Stradling, whose attack jump is 8 feet 9, orchestrated the team's multi-attack with deceptive and balanced distribution, utilizing a deep front line. Coach Jennifer Beall used five frontline players each ofw hom averaged 6 feet.

"Tara's versatility allowed us to run any offense," said Beall, who started as head coach Stradling's freshman year. "I've watched her grow, get stronger and more aggressive on attack. Tara was a calming influence on the rest of the girls."

Her floor leadership and instincts were never more evident than in the 15-10, 15-13, 15-12 state final over Towson. Stradling had 27 assists, five kills and six aces.
Coach of the Year: Michael Moynihan, Mount Hebron

Moynihan nearly hit the jackpot in his first season as head volleyball coach ofthe fourthranked Vikings and it's going to cost him.

Moynihan, who coached Western Tech in B a l t i m o r e County for five ye a r s b e f o re coming to Mount Hebron, will lose his salt-and-pepper hair at the team's upcoming postseason party.

"I'm getting my head buzzed this week," said Moynihan, who remade the 3-12 Vikings ofa year ago into a 16-4 Class 3A state finalist.

"I told the girls if we won the region or state championship that I would let them shave my hair off."

While he coached the school's freshman team last year, the varsity struggled through a horrendous year.

"I had no intention ofbeing a head coach again when I came to Mount Hebron, but I watched them and could see how good they could be," said Moynihan, who set out to build confidence this year and got a boost when his team opened up by upsetting No. 3 Broadneck, 3-1.

Broadneck would be the first off ive Top 10 teams Mount Hebron would knock off.

"I told them to believe how good they are and watching them come together was most satisfying," Moynihan said.

The Vikings stunned Severna Park (14-5) in three games in the 3A East final and defeated Liberty, 3-1, in the state semifinals after losing the first game 15-12.

Mount Hebron dropped the 3A state final in four games to a much taller Patuxent ofCal vert County team.

With Moynihan, Mount Hebron had the most wins since the 1998 team went 19-1 under Kedre Fairley and the 1995 3A state champion coached by Henry Dahlen that was 18-2.
First Team

Emily Berman, Towson

Hard work and dedication to the game turned this 6-foot-1 middle hitter into a complete player her senior year. Berman developed into a powerful hitter with a lethal serve for the No. 2 Generals ( 1 8 - 1 ) , who didn't lose until the Class 2A state final. After a junior year in which she averaged 2.2 kills in the Generals' run to the 2A state championship and earned All-Baltimore City/County honors, Berman averaged 3.25 kills and 1.2 blocks this season. In the state semifinals, Berman had 13 kills in Towson's three-game sweep of Bethesda-Chevy Chase and had eight in the Generals' 3-0 loss to Glenelg in the final. Berman was the perfect complement to teammate Stephanie Kines.

Hallie Fuller, Broadneck

One of only two All-Metro first-team repeaters, Fuller finished strong and so did the No. 3 Bruins in notching their second straight Class 4A state title.

Fuller, a four-year starter and three-time All-Anne Arundel County setter, averaged 6.3 assists, 1.5 kills, 1.6 blocks and put up a .940 serving percentage. The 5-8 Fuller was the key to the success ofhis team down the stretch. In the Bruins' crucial 3-0 Class 4A East region semifinal victory over Arundel, Fuller tied her school record of48 assists. Fuller, the school's career assists leader, also had five kills and four blocks in the Arundel win. In the 3-0 state tournament wins over Gaithersburg and Perry Hall, Fuller had 31 assists, seven kills and was 22-for-23 serving with six aces.

Amanda Hernandez, Arundel

The 5-9 senior setter led Arundel to its first unbeaten regular season and was named the Anne Arundel County Player of the Year. A two-time All-Anne Arundel choice, Hernandez was clearly the catalyst as the No. 7 Wildcats (15-2) went 11-0 in the regular season and did not lose until the county championship and the 4A East semifinals.

She had 28 assists and eight blocks in the Wildcats' first victory over No. 6 Severna Park in at least 25 years and 28 more assists in a regularseason win over 4A state champion Broadneck. In the Wildcats' 3-0 loss to Broadneck in the 4A East semis, Hernandez had 25 assists. After setting a school season record for assists with 507 last year, Hernandez came back with 428 this season.

Stephanie Kines, Towson

Baltimore County's Player of the Year, Kines is the other repeat All-Metro first-teamer. The 5-10 senior is a powerful hitter with exceptional hang time that allows her to crush the ball or tip it into the open space at the last second. A three-time All-Baltimore CityF County selection, Kines averaged 3.2 kills and 1.1 blocks for the 2A state runner-up and repeat county champion. In the Generals' 3-1 victory over No. 5 Dulaney (17-3) in the county championship match, Kines pumped and tapped 27 kills despite the Lions' triple-block. Kines also led the Generals to a repeat 2A North region title and into the state final four where she had 15 kills in a 3-0 sweep of Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the semifinals and 11 kills in the 3-0 loss to Glenelg in the final.

Sarah Tursell, Glenelg

A second-team All-Metro hitter as a junior last year, Tursell was a four-year varsity starter for the Class 2A state champion G l a d i a t o r s (20-0). The 6-1 middle hitter led Glenelg in kills (3.2), blocks (1.0) and aces with 55, and had 105 digs. Extremely mobile with power around the net, Tursell can hit middle or outside and also serves well. Her versatility played a major role in the Gladiators going undefeated (14-0) with all 3-0 sweeps in Howard County league play and taking their first county title by 3-1 over No. 4 Mount Hebron. Tursell had 20 kills, four blocks and three aces in the county final. Glenelg swept the state tournament with 3-0 wins over J.M. Bennett and then-No. 1 Towson, with Tursell contributing 20 kills.

Cristin Van Dyke, Broadneck

The Bruins' repeat Class 4A state title was very special to the 6-2 Van Dyke. The lanky and athletic middle hitter did not play in last year's state championship victory for personal reasons. She made sure the No. 3 Bruins (16-3) got back to the grand finale by leading her team in kills (235) and blocks (120).

To return to the state final four meant defeating No. 7 Arundel (15-2), a team that had swept the Bruins, 3-0, in the regular season.

Van Dyke had 11 kills and seven blocks as the Bruins returned the 3-0 favor to the 'Cats in the 4A East semifinals. She had 17 kills and 13 blocks in the 3-1 region final over Thomas Johnson and aided 3-0 state tournament victories over Gaithersburg and Perry Hall.

Jen Wylie, Dulaney

A second-team All-Metro hitter as a sophomore, Wylie fought through an injury- plagued junior season last year that was culminated by a broken ankle. The 5-11 outside hitter came back strong this season, averaging 4.5 kills and 1.0 service aces for the No. 5 Lions (17-3). Wylie, a former gymnast who is very deceptive and powerful at the net, led the Lions to their fifth consecutive region title and berth in the state tournament. She sparkled with 14 kills in a tough 3-0 loss by scores of1 5-10, 15-11 and 15-12 to eventual 3A state champion Patuxent (17-1) ofCal vert County. The Lions also came up short in the Baltimore County championship match, losing 3-1 to Towson despite the strong hitting ofW ylie, who had 27 kills to match her foe Stephanie Kines.