Cavs mature into contenders Last year's youth movement expected to begin paying off South Carroll 1993 high school volleyball preview


The names are basically the same at South Carroll, but with a year of experience behind them, the Cavaliers are looking to win a lot more matches this fall.

Coach Debbie Barnes went with a youth movement last year, relying on six juniors and three sophomores. Despite their 4-11 record, the Cavaliers stayed in most matches and improved as the season went along.

"We're not going to be a powerhouse or anything like that, but I think we'll be very competitive and win our share of games this year," Barnes said.

"The confidence level has to stay high and winning some matches early on would help."

The Cavaliers won't overwhelm anyone with their height. They are talented up front, but only three players -- junior Nicole Spencer and seniors Sarah South and Amy Larrick -- are over 5 feet 9. Instead, they will rely on a balanced attack with a lot of scrappy play in back.

"We don't have a lot of height, but enough to work with. We have some girls in back who are very quick and that will help balance things out," Barnes said.

Spencer, a second-team All-County selection last year, is recovering from knee surgery after going down in the middle of the basketball season last winter. Originally not expected to be ready for volleyball, she's way ahead of her rehabilitation schedule and should make a contribution.

"She's not at 100 percent yet, but has worked very hard to get back to where she is and will definitely be a factor. We'll pretty much use her just on the front line for now," Barnes said.

"Both her and Sarah South look pretty good up front. Both have good ball sense and it's just a matter of confidence."

Junior Melissa Gettemy had a solid sophomore season in 1992 and brings a lot of versatility to the Cavaliers lineup.

"She does everything so well. She can hit and also set and brings a lot of enthusiasm to the court," said Barnes.

Senior Erica Bouthner returns as the Cavs' top setter. Other hitters are seniors Nicole Carter, Erin Windsor and Melanie Zahn. Adding depth is senior Amy Blevins and junior Amy Kable.

Bouthner, an All-County honorable-mention choice last year, is one of the team's top two hitters -- Gettemy being the other -- and also can hurt opposing teams with a strong serve.

"We struggled some with our serving last year. They would do fine in practice and then have some problems come match time," Barnes said.

"We've been trying to put them in pressure, game-like situations, and they look pretty good. Erica is a strong server, and the rest of the starters are about even. We should be improved in that area."

Junior Jamey McGregor and sophomore Amy Stephenson -- both up from junior varsity -- are scrappy backcourt players who will see playing time. Both have impressed Barnes with their speed and hustle.

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