McHenry, MD – Kim Windstein Harsch hopes her blend of returning talent and a large freshman contingent will prove to be a winning mix for Garrett College's volleyball program.
"I'm excited about the people we have on this year's team," said the Lakers' head coach. "I think once we jell as a team and get to know how each other plays we will do well."
Libero Lauryn Moon (Southern Garrett High), who made the NJCAA Region XX Honorable Mention team as a freshman, leads a group of three returning sophomores.
"Lauryn is going to anchor our defense and serve/receive," said Windstein Harsch. "And she's a great passer."
Sophomore Kendra Friend (Northern Garret High) moves from setter to hitter, which is her natural position.
"She played setter last year to help the team, but this year she'll be in a position that's much more comfortable for her," said Windstein Harsch of Friend, who will play both outside and right hitting positions. "And she's been hitting very well in practice."
Katelyn Tasker (Southern Garrett High), the team's third sophomore, will be used as an outside hitter and utility player, according to Windstein Harsch.
The Lakers received an infusion of talent from Akron, Ohio, with three players signed to play both volleyball and basketball. Akron imports Teyaurra Harris (North High), G'Vahn Pace (East High), and Jada Maxwell (East High) bring a variety of talents to the squad.
"Teyaurra brings some height (5-10) to the team and can hit in any of the three hitting positions," said Windstein Harsch. "G'Vahn is an outside hitter who is very good defensively, very quick and can jump. Jada (6-0) is going to help a lot blocking in the middle."
Colleen Kemp (Salisbury Christian) is another 6-foot freshman who will be a middle hitter and, according to Windstein Harsch, is particularly adept at hitting quick sets.
Freshman Samantha Kennell (Northern Garrett High) will handle the team's setting responsibilities.
"Samantha has great hands and plays good right-side defense," said Windstein Harsch. "She also a taller setter, so she'll be able to put up a block against the other team's outside hitter."
Windstein Harsch is again being assisted by Alyssa Rounds, Natalie Johnson, and J.T. Lewis. Rounds and Johnson are both Northern Garrett High graduates who played at GC while Lewis doubles as the college's head women's basketball coach.
The Lakers open their regular season on the road Friday with a 6 p.m. contest at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and are scheduled to host their Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference opener Sunday at 2 p.m. against Chesapeake College.