HCC volleyball squad mixes experience, youth

August 22, 2007|By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College volleyball team will feature a near equal blend of experience in youth in 2007.

Three of the Hawks' five returning sophomores are from Boonsboro: Setter Jessica Ambrose, opposite hitter Caitlyn Selby and libero Kim Snavely. The other two returning sophomores are outside hitter Sammi Snodderly (Williamsport) and opposite hitter Nikki Wirth (Broadneck).

Ambrose led the 2006 team with 744 assists and a 56.5 percent hitting efficiency, while Snavely had a team-high 651 digs. Snodderly was second on the team with 389 kills and Selby was third with 289 kills.

HCC saw its string of three straight Maryland JuCo Conference regular-season championships broken last year. Howard edged the Hawks for the title, winning a head-to-head battle in the season finale with a 15-13 fifth-game victory.


The Hawks did rebound to win their fourth straight Region XX Tournament and finished the season 34-14. They were ranked 17th in the final NJCAA Division II poll.

"We plan on taking the Maryland JUCO Conference title back and holding on to our Region XX Tournament title that we have held now for four years," HCC coach Beth Domenico said. "I feel very good about our volleyball team. We are an athletic team this year. We have good height and great defense this year. Our girls have been looking good in practice and they are very competitive."

The six incoming freshmen are middle hitter Brittany Horn (Williamsport), middle hitter Kierra Nelson (North Hagerstown), defensive specialist and libero Heather Higgins (Clear Spring), outside hitter Ashley Arentz (Delone Catholic, Pa.), outside hitter Kira Brooks-Ford (Fredericksburg Chancellor, Va.) and outside hitter Magdalena Tekiel (Warsaw, Poland).

"One of our strong points is that we definitely have a big front line," Domenico said. "We also have good depth. We ought to be able to rotate a lot of people off of the bench."

Domenico said Howard and College of Southern Maryland will be the top conference competitors for HCC.

HCC opens its season Friday in the Kellogg's Tournament at Battle Creek, Mich.

"This will be our second year in the Kellogg's Tournament," Domenico added. "This tournament is by invitation only. Every team in this tournament is a nationally ranked team."

The Hawks will play in the Howard Invitational in Columbia, Md., next weekend. They will play their home opener Sept. 5 against Cecil.

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