For two years, the Howard County volleyball championship match has been a one-sided affair. That's because the stronger teams were all in one division, and when the divisional winners met for the title, the result was a foregone conclusion.
That shouldn't happen again.
At last month's sports committee meeting, the county's athletic directors came up with a new system that should make the championship match more competitive. Each year, teams will be placed into divisions based on their county record the previous season.
Here is how next year's no-name divisions will look (with last season's standing and county record):
1. Mount Hebron 13-0; 3. Glenelg 8-5; 5. Atholton 6-7; 7. Long Reach 5-8; 9. Howard 5-8.
2. Centennial 11-2; 4. River Hill 7-6; 6. Oakland Mills 5-8; 8. Hammond 5-8; 10. Wilde Lake 0-13.
Like the first two seasons, teams will play divisional opponents twice and non-divisional opponents once. A change next fall will have teams playing non-division matches first, meaning each team will have two byes in the final two-thirds of the schedule.
Volleyball is the only sport in the county using a two-division format. The arrangement started two years ago, when teams were randomly selected and put into divisions. As luck would have it, the four strongest teams -- Centennial, Mount Hebron, Glenelg and River Hill -- were put into the same division. Centennial and Mount Hebron have won the last two county championships, respectively, without losing a game in the title match.
Robinson is fine
Scott Robinson, Mount Hebron's girls basketball coach, had a growth removed from inside his jaw last Friday at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Closing the incision required 28 stitches.
"I'm feeling very well and hope to be back next week," Robinson said from home yesterday. "The surgery went well."
Mount Hebron is 2-0, with lopsided wins over Institute of Notre Dame and Catonsville.
"I'm feel fortunate to have Scott Ruehl and Chris Robinson as coaches. They've obviously done a great job," said Robinson.
Centennial starter Tia Richardson and Darlena Hammond are out of the lineup until next week because of a "school-related situation," coach Dave Greenberg said.
Richardson, a senior captain, had 15 points and Hammond, a junior transfer, had 13 in the Eagles' opening-season win over Mamaroneck (N.Y.) last Saturday. Neither played Wednesday against Westminster or will play in tonight's county opener at Howard.
Greenberg said it was "doubtful" they would play Wednesday against visiting Oakland Mills. "They should be back by Friday's game [at Long Reach]," Greenberg said.
Sophomore Ashley Evans is averaging 18 points for the 13th-ranked Eagles (2-0).
Hammond started three freshmen Tuesday at City, but senior Kelly Workman hit an 8-foot shot with 17 seconds left to lift the Golden Bears to a 38-37 win. City took a number of shots in the final seconds, but Rachel Foley blocked the last attempt. Melissa Workman (11 points), Tara Zammichieli (seven) and Foley (six) -- all freshmen -- started for Hammond and were among the top four scorers. The only negative for Hammond was its free-throw shooting -- eight for 26.
Lauren Martin scored 23 points, including four three-pointers, and had 11 rebounds, and Kris Brust had 18 points and 16 rebounds in Glenelg's 62-42 win Tuesday at South Carroll.
"For the first game of the season, we saw a lot of good things," said Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar, whose team is ranked 12th in the Sun poll.
Lesikar said the team rebounded well.
"That's a real big emphasis for us," said Lesikar, noting that assistant coach Chad Meushaw is concentrating heavily on that facet of the game.
Davidson helps Hoyas
Elisa Davidson, Howard County's volleyball Player of the Year in 1995, when she led Glenelg to a state championship, helped Georgetown University earn its first NCAA tournament appearance.
Georgetown traveled last week to the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Kansas State ousted the Hoyas in three games in their opener Friday night.
Georgetown (24-6) tied the University of Connecticut for the Big East regular-season title and lost to Notre Dame in the Big East tournament final. The Hoyas, volleyball participants since 1974, received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Davidson said the tournament experience "was awesome. I was really excited."
Davidson, one of the hardest hitters ever in Howard County, did a little bit of everything this season for the Hoyas but primarily was the setter. She called the season a success.
"It was definitely the most fun I've had with my teammates and coach since I've been here," Davidson said.
Pub Date: 12/11/98