Focus on Sports
Skipjacks launch return to JuCo volleyball

Monday, September 10, 2007

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College, which marks its return to women´s volleyball by hosting Harford Community College Monday at 6 p.m., seems poised for a successful return to the sport.

"I think we´re going to be pretty good," said Skipjacks head coach Jay Covey, who built a high school powerhouse at Colonel Richardson and recruited a squad dominated by Caroline County standouts. "How good, we won´t know until we start playing games."

Covey has certainly assembled a more talented team that most first-year programs could expect right out of the gate.

Colonel Richardson grads Jermara Trott, the 2005 Mid-Shore Player of the Year, and Jordan Glessner, a three-time all-Mid-Shore first-team selection, will start at outside hitting positions in a starting lineup that also includes former Colonel Chelsea Cohee at setter. The Colonel Richardson trio will be joined in the starting lineup by North Caroline High grads Kyra Ringgold at middle hitter and Amanda Parks at off-hand hitter.

Middle hitter Verushka Perez (Westside-Augusta, Ga.), a reserve on Chesapeake´s softball team, will start for Covey.

"Verushka is a very good volleyball player," said Covey. "I was surprised to find a player with her volleyball skills already at Chesapeake when I got here."

One key to just how successful the Skipjacks are this season is how quickly Cohee – who started for Covey as a hitter at Colonel Richardson – adjusts to her setting responsibilities.

"She has a lot of weight on her shoulders, but she gets better and better every day in practice," said Covey. "I think she can handle the job."

Easton High grad Diana Dieter will hold down the defensive specialist role for the Skipjacks. Six other players – Kent County High grads Tiara Whye and Lauren Plummer, Easton alums Ebone Alsup, Leeanne Isom, and Megan Dickerson, and ex-Colonel Richardson performer Yaasmiyn Finlayson – round out Chesapeake´s 13-player squad.

Assistant Coach Bill Faust, the college´s athletic facilities specialist, is on campus full-time, which has been a huge benefit to Covey in his part-time role.

"Bill has been a valuable addition to the program," said Covey.

The Skipjacks will probably have a height deficit against the league´s better teams – the 5-foot-9 Perez is Chesapeake´s tallest starter – but the fact that so many of them have played together in the past should be an advantage.

Covey said it will take a while to figure out where the Skipjacks fit in as part of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.

"I´ve got to think we´ll be considerably stronger than some, and not as strong as others," said Covey. "I won´t know for sure until I see the rest of the league. For me, it´s a learning experience."

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