The Deerfield Volleyball Club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association with many local players, is one of more than 30 teamsscheduled to compete in the St. Patrick's Day Classic tomorrow at Old Mill High School.

Also competing is the Capital Volleyball Club,with nine countians spread out over four teams.

Deerfield's Gold and Silver under-18 squads will take part in thedaylong tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. and includes under-18 andunder-16 teams from Maryland, Washington, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Long Island and New Jersey.

The round-robin format includes "pool play," with the teams broken into groups of four or five andplaying two games each.

The top two finishers in each group advance to the "playoffs," beginning with a quarterfinal round.

James Pavlacka, a coach in the Deerfield organization, said approximately 35club teams originally signed up, but fewer are expected because Scholastic Aptitude Tests are being given in the morning.

The Deerfield Gold includes Christy Hutson, an integral part of Glen Burnie's 4A state champion team, and Arundel's Kathy Wetzel. Old Mill's Mia Padgett and Jen Schmittle compete on the DeerfieldSilver.

The Gold traveled to Nevada on Feb. 14 for the Las Vegas Invitational -- a tournament with under-18 teams from all over the United States, including Hawaii -- and placed 80th in the 120-team field.

"That was pretty good. We were looking to be in the top 100, so we were pleased with ourfirst visit there," Pavlacka said.

The Deerfield Black, an under-16 team boasting Severna Park's Jennifer Connors, Jennifer Mitchell and Jaime Pirotte, reached the quarterfinals of a tournament in Columbia on Feb. 23.

The Deerfield organization also has an under-14 team, nicknamed "Blue," which includes Severna Park Middle School's Julie Allen, Lauren Butler and Sherri Patton and Marley Middle's Amy and Heather Huston.

Meanwhile, the Capital Volleyball Club will field two teams each in the under-18 and under-16 brackets of the St. Patrick's Day Classic.

Severna Park High is well-represented in the under-16s, with Katie Marks and Catherine Kirk playing for the Blue, andJulie Kasprzak, Gwen Erlandson and Lori and Suzi Sharpless competingfor the Red.

The under-18 Blue contains Severna Park's Kim Aller and Glen Burnie's Stacy Gilligan -- the Anne Arundel County Sun's Volleyball Player of the Year. South River's Colette Marquis plays for the Red.

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