Rankings? You cannot be serious

September 20, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

As the main prep volleyball reporter this year, I'd like to make a statement to the public: Don't take the rankings seriously.

Seriously. Don't do it. Not yet, anyway. All rankings, at least this early in the season, are this close to shots in the dark.

Am I sure Hedgesville is the best volleyball team in our area? Nope. The Eagles are No. 1 this week by virtue of their victory over defending W.Va. AAA state champion Capital at the Woodrow Wilson Tournament on Sept. 7, but whether they stay there or not, who can say for sure?

Smithsburg, Williamsport and Thomas Johnson all were considered for the top spot, and all would be a perfectly acceptable choice there.


Behind those four teams, there are a host of quality squads, including (but not limited to) James Buchanan, McConnellsburg, Middletown, Greencastle, Southern Fulton, Waynesboro, Chambersburg, North Hagerstown, Hancock, Grace Academy ... do I need to go on?

So, don't worry about the rankings yet. They'll work themselves out. Over the course of the season, the best teams will rise in the rankings, and others will drop. Just like they do in college football, college basketball and any other sport that uses polls.

My suggestion: Save this week's rankings, look at them in two months and enjoy a good laugh. I won't be offended. In all likelihood, I'll be doing the exact same thing.

Now, if I make a rankings mistake at the end of the season ... well, my phone number and e-mail address are listed at the end of the column.

n As you may have read in Tuesday's edition, Smithsburg graduate Carey Brennan broke the Maryland record for career kills last Saturday during the Terrapin Invitational, which the Terps won to improve to 10-0.

"Actually I don't feel too much different now that I have broke the all-time kills record," Brennan said via e-mail Monday night. "It has made me feel as though I've gained a place among Maryland's all-time greats."

Brennan had 42 kills in two matches Saturday, including 26 in the five-game championship victory over Loyola Marymount. She was named tournament MVP, and surpassed Colleen Hurley's mark of 1,238 kills, set in 1991.

"Breaking the record under the circumstances has made it that much sweeter," Brennan said. "It was nice to be honored for three things at once: Tournament champs, Tournament MVP, and all-time kills leader. It can't get much better than that for the time being."

Brennan's focus now shifts to team-oriented goals, as Maryland is off to its second-best start in school history heading closer to Atlantic Coast Conference play.

"We are very capable of ending up among the top three in our conference, and even winning our conference, which can definitely lead to qualifying for (the NCAA Tournament)," Brennan said. "We just need to stay focused on our goals, and let our hearts take us as far as we can possibly go."

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or at by e-mail at

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