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HCC volleyball team to host tourney

September 07, 2000

HCC volleyball team to host tourney



By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent



The Hagerstown Community College Hawks' volleyball team has had a good run of success.

HCC has won nine regular-season championships in the Maryland JUCO Conference, nine Region XX Tournament championships and has made nine trips to the nationals in 11 years.

The Hawks now want to turn those 9s into 10s in all three categories this season.

That would help to erase the bad memories of last season when the Hawks did not win any championships and failed to qualify for the national tournament for the first time since 1993.

"We have set some goals for our team," HCC coach Marlys Palmer said. "The primary goal is to get back to the national tournament."

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One thing that can help the Hawks achieve their goals is the fact that they return six sophomores that had a lot of playing time last year. Setter Kelli Martin and left side hitters Rachel Bachtell and Casey Nogle come from Smithsburg. Right side hitter Renee Baker and middle hitter Lindsey Miller are from McConnellsburg, Pa., while middle hitter Erica McCann is from South Hagerstown.

The Hawks also have five freshmen on the roster, including a third player from McConnellsburg, setter Tiffany Sipes. The other freshmen are middle hitter Emilie Petry (James Buchanan), left side hitter Tara Russell (Williamsport), defensive specialist Jennifer Mentzer (Clear Spring) and utility player Jade Whipp (Boonsboro).

"We should benefit from having all of that experience and that is a real plus right now," Palmer said. "Our starting lineup right now is the six sophomores. However, the freshmen are playing really well. All 11 players on the team can contribute in some way and they can play pretty well. We have a nice team that has some height, depth, quickness and hitting ability."

HCC opened up its season going 3-3 in the tournament at Port Huron, Michigan last weekend and then swept a tri-match Wednesday for a 5-3 start. The Hawks will host the Hagerstown Invitational Tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Palmer has made the schedule tougher this year.

"I felt that it was something that we needed to do after last year," Palmer said. "I didn't feel that we did as well as we should during the second half of the season. Even though we finished second in the Region XX Tournament, we didn't feel that last season was up to our standards. So, that is why that we beefed up the schedule a little bit."

The Region XX Tournament was played in Hagerstown for the previous eight years. But this year, the Region XX Tournament will be played in Catonsville.

Catonsville won both the regular-season title and the tournament title last year. Catonsville should once again be one of the Hawks' top opponents this year, along with Charles and Garrett.

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