Preseason Top 15

1. Centennial

1998 record: 17-3

Skinny: The Eagles have won seven state championships in the 1990s, including three straight, and with six returning players with starting experience will once again be the team to beat.

2. Dulaney

1998 record: 18-1

Skinny: With returning hitters Lindsay Lawson, Heather Hourihan and Leanne Costa and setter Erin Reinhardt, the Baltimore County champions are looking to top last season's showing as a Class 4A semifinalist.

3. Severna Park

1998 record: 18-2

Skinny: Severna Park graduated five starters, but coach Tim Dunbar said his team has more depth and "raw athletic ability" than last year. "We have the potential to be very good, but we're not there yet," he said.

4. River Hill

1998 record: 10-7

Skinny: The leadership and experience of four-year varsity players Shannon Patrick, Lisa Humphrey, Carrie Kelehan and Kristin Dahlen will key the Hawks.

5. Mount Hebron

1998 record: 19-1

Skinny: New coach Betty Golibart lost only two starters from last year's Howard County championship team. The Vikings reached the Class 2A region final before bowing to eventual state champion Centennial.

6. Francis Scott Key

1998 record: 13-4

Skinny: The four-time defending Carroll County Tournament champions return eight players, seven who played regularly last year. They are led by senior Kim Sheedy and junior Carrie Ness.

7. Broadneck

1998 record: 10-5

Skinny: Junior Nicole Barr returns with seniors Katie Henschal and Jan Kanach to give the Bruins an experienced nucleus as they move to Class 4A.

8. Catonsville

1998 record: 9-3

Skinny: The Comets lost four starters but should remain among Baltimore County's top teams behind Danni Packer, Melissa Junker, Carol Schmoeller and Tina Tacka.

9. Mercy

1998 record: 17-4

Skinny: Despite losing three starters, coach Michele Wittgreen's team should remain at or near the top of the new Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland. The three-time defending Catholic League champions swept Archbishop Spalding for the title last year.

10. Glen Burnie

1998 record: 9-3

Skinny: Tiffany Jordan, a second-team all-Anne Arundel County defender/middle hitter, and setters/backcourt specialists Kristen Shacklock and Michelle Whitlock will lead the Gophers.

11. North Carroll

1998 record: 13-3

Skinny: The Panthers won the Carroll County and Central Maryland championships last year but graduated county Player of the Year Kate Wall. They return two standout hitters, seniors Tiffany Langan and Tiffany Shearer.

12. C. Milton Wright

1998 record: 12-6

Skinny: The Mustangs, who move up to Class 4A, were Harford County champions last season and have been regional champions the last two years.

13. Friends

1998 record: 8-2

Skinny: The Quakers return every player from last year's team that stunned top-seeded McDonogh in three games to win the Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament title.

14. Archbishop Spalding

1998 record: 15-4

Skinny: Coach Scott Rombach succeeds Linda Taylor, who resigned to spend more time with her family after going 109-35 over 10 seasons. Rombach assisted Taylor the last four years.

15. Western

1998 record: 16-2

Skinny: Returning starters Ericka Butler, Joy Gorham and Taneisha Osborne give the defending city champion Doves experience.

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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