The first team at a glance
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
* Carlyn Cangiano, senior, Centennial, hitter -- The top gun for the No. 2 Eagles, Cangiano led the team to its third straight Class 3A title and a 22-1 season. The 6-foot middle hitter finished with 172 kills, averaging 2.7 per game. Just over 47 percent of the balls she hit went down for kills. A complete player with excellent agility that made her a top backcourt defender as well as a tough blocker, Cangiano had 63 point blocks. Her serving also drew plenty of attention especially when she unleashed her powerful jump serve. She served 75 aces and 33.6 percent of her serves were aces. Only the fourth player to make coach Bill Shook's varsity as a freshman, Cangiano has played club volleyball since seventh grade. Now a highly recruited Division I prospect, Cangiano also provided stability for the Eagles after their 55-game winning streak was snapped by Severna Park in October. "With two big matches against Atholton and Hammond coming up the next week, she was a driving force in practice to make sure we didn't skid any further," said Shook. "She's like an assistant coach to me, and I think that's what a Player of the Year needs to do."
* Marisa Davidson, senior, Glenelg, hitter -- As tremendous an offensive weapon as her club teammate Cangiano, Davidson powered the No. 3 Gladiators to their first state title in Class 2A. Glenelg's offense revolved around Davidson, who hit from the back row as well as the front. A 6-foot outside hitter, Davidson had a stellar state playoff week with 40 kills, including 26 in a five-game semifinal thriller with Loch Raven. Her season kill total came to 241, a 3.5 average per game. She pounded down 47 percent of her hits for kills. Davidson also served well, missing just 15 of 229 attempts. She had 30 aces. As team captain, she helped the Gladiators overcome losing two of their first four matches and survive a couple of mid-season five-game scares to win their final 15 matches -- now the county's longest active winning streak. "Marisa is certainly a very skilled player, but she contributed in so many other ways that helped get the team ready for the playoffs," said Glenelg coach Marlene Janis. "Sometimes it's hard to believe she's just a senior in high school. She's very mature and she's very good at getting the rest of the team motivated."
COACH OF THE YEAR
* Marlene Janis, Glenelg -- In her ninth season at the helm, Janis took the No. 3 Gladiators to their first state Class 2A title. When the former Catonsville Community College All-American took over the Gladiators, they had dropped to the bottom of the county pack. Since then, she has brought them up one step at a time. Last year, Glenelg reached the state semifinals for the first time but lostto eventual champ Mount Hebron. This year, they took that final step by winning the title, but the Gladiators also compiled a 17-2 record and finished second in the county. They lost only two matches all season -- both to No. 2 Centennial and both in the first 10 days of the season. Janis' biggest challenge might have been helping her team live up to everyone else's expectations. Despite having only one returning starter in Marisa Davidson, the Gladiators were designated heir apparents to the Class 2A title after defending champ Mount Hebron moved up to Class 3A. "Marisa came in with the confidence and experience," said Janis, a physical education teacher at Mount View Middle School. "But volleyball is a team sport, and you can't just win with one player. Even though she's one of our focal points, we had to work together."
ALL-COUNTY FIRST TEAM
* Elisa Davidson, sophomore, Glenelg, setter/hitter -- The county's fastest rising star, Davidson complemented her sister Marisa perfectly. Although she never had set before, she emerged asthe top setter for the state Class 2A champs. Davidson still is learning the position but she already can put the ball right where the hitters want it. She registered 253 assists. At the same time, she had 75 kills as an outside hitter. Also a strong server, Davidson had 28 aces.
* Sonia Keiner, senior, Hammond, setter/hitter -- The hub of the No. 13 Golden Bears' offense, the 5-8 middle hitter had 151 kills and 11 point blocks while also setting from the back row. She served at a 92-percent rate with 46 aces for the 10-5 Bears. A strong defender in the backcourt, the four-year varsity player holds school records for kills (466), serves (891), aces (138) and points (520).
* Robin McGraw, senior, Atholton, setter/hitter -- This 6-0 middle hitter did just about everything for the Raiders. McGraw led the metro area in kills per game with 4.32. She totaled 246 for the season as well as 53 point blocks. Also a setter, McGraw contributed 142 assists for the Raiders, who dropped half of their losses in five-game matches. A terrific server, McGraw hit 97.2 percent of her chances with 38 aces.
* Kelly Quinn, junior, Mount Hebron, setter/hitter -- Quinn reluctantly took on setting duties this year after earning an All-County spot as an outside hitter last season. Still, she managed to do both well. Her kill total was down from last year but she led the Vikings with 86. Quinn also contributed 224 assists. A great defensive player with a tremendous serve, Quinn had 83 aces serving first in the rotation.
* Carrie Shadrick, senior, Centennial, setter -- The No. 1 setter for the three-time state Class 3A champs, Shadrick had 222 assists. In addition to making the hitters look good, Shadrick was the critical first server. She baffled opponents with an unpredictable floater and also could deliver a top-spin serve. On 272 serves, she made just 26 errors for a 90.4 percentage.
* Krisha Svehla, junior, Centennial, hitter -- This 6-0 middle hitter pounds the hardest ball on the Eagles' team. Her power accounted for 167 kills on 237 hits with just 50 errors. She put the ball away 70.5 percent of the time. Serving second in the rotation, she had the second-best percentage on the team at 97.2 percent with 36 aces.
Name.. .. .. .. .. ..School.. .. .. .. ..Year.. .. .. .. .. Position
Carlyn Cangiano.. .. Centennial.. .. ... Senior .. .. .. .. Hitter
Elisa Davidson .. .. Glenelg .. .. .. .. Sophomore .. .. .. Setter/hitter
Marisa Davidson .. ..Glenelg .. .. .. .. Senior .. .. .. .. Hitter
Sonia Keiner .. .. ..Hammond .. .. .. .. Senior .. .. .. .. Setter/hitter
Robin McGraw .. .. ..Atholton .. .. .. ..Senior .. .. .. .. Setter/hitter
Kelly Quinn .. .. .. Mount Hebron .. .. Junior .. .. .. .. Setter/hitter
Carrie Shadrick .. ..Centennial .. .. .. Senior .. .. .. .. Setter
Krisha Svehla .. .. Centennial .. .. .. Junior .. .. .. .. Hitter
Players of the Year: Carlyn Cangiano, Centennial, and Marisa Davidson, Glenelg
Coach of the Year: Marlene Janis, Glenelg
HOW THE TEAM WAS PICKED
The Baltimore Sun All-Howard County Volleyball Team was selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with county coaches.