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Harrow is new coach of MHS varsity volleyball

From left, Middlesex High tri-captains Ashley Figg, Jamie Davis and Danielle Montgomery.

Team is young, but talented; season opener is Monday

The Middlesex High varsity volleyball team has only three players returning to the squad. However, MHS coach Jennifer Harrow said her young team can be contenders.

“They are a very strong and athletic team,” she said. “Even with their youthfulness, they have the ability and potential to do very well this year. As long as they want to win bad enough and put the effort into improving and work together, they can and will go far.”

This will be Harrow’s first year as varsity coach. Harrow posted winning seasons in each of the eight years she coached the MHS JV volleyball team, starting in 2000. The JV Lady Chargers were Tidewater District champions in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2005 they had a perfect season, and did not lose a single game in any of their 16 matches. (A team must win two games to win a match.)

Leading this year’s Lady Chargers are tri-captains Ashley Figg, Jamie Davis and Danielle Montgomery, who are seniors playing in their fifth year of volleyball at MHS.

A. Figg is a hard worker who will be one of the starting setters. “She has very good control of her sets and moves quickly to get under each ball,” said Harrow. “She also has a strong serve that she can place well.”

Danielle Montgomery will be starting either at middle or outside hitter. “She is a versatile and dependable player willing to play wherever she is needed.”

Jamie Davis has a powerful serve and hit and will be an outside hitter. “Jamie moves well on the court and passes well,” said Harrow.

Other seniors include Kelly Purcell, a four-year player. “She has strong setter hands that can really push the ball to the outside well.” Purcell will be sharing setting responsibilities this year.

Senior Ashae Burnett will be playing her first year of volleyball. Just nipping 6 feet tall, she brings height and athleticism to the team. (She is an All-Region basketball player.)

“Although, Ashae is new to the court, her athleticism will build her quickly into a strong player,” said Harrow. “As the season progresses, she will be a great help with blocking and hitting.”

Juniors include Maggie Hall, who is in her third year after taking off her sophomore year. “Maggie has confidence on the court and is a big voice on the court that helps keep the team going. She moves well and will be a big defensive help this year. She attacks strong at the net.”

Sophomores with three years experience include:

  • Kelsey Hainley, a natural setter who will be sharing setting responsibilities this year. She also is a strong server and attacker at the net.
  • Hayley Guess has become a strong middle player. “She gets above the net to aid our team in blocking and her hitting has gotten a lot stronger since last year,” said Harrow.
  • Chelsea Lewter is a hard worker that always gives 100 percent.  “Chelsea is a strong passer and will be a great help as a defensive specialist or libero,” said Harrow.
  • Raquel Pierce has lots of energy and power. “We are working to contain that energy,” said Harrow. “Once done, she will truly be an explosive player on the court. She talks well and cheers on her team on and off the court.”
  • Lauren Figg “always tries hard and puts her heart into what she does,” said Harrow.  She will be helping on the outside.
  • Caroline Davis “moves well on the court” and will also help share the setting responsibilities, said Harrow. 

Two freshmen who are in their second year are on the varsity team. Megan Payne “is a strong player all around,” said Harrow. “She passes well and has a strong hit and serve.” She will be playing either outside or in the middle.

Chelsi Blake also passes well and has a strong serve and hit, said Harrow. She will be concentrating more on the outside. 

The volleyball teams open on Monday, August 25, at home against Essex and host W&L on Thursday, August 28. The JV games begin at 6 p.m. and are followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m.

posted 08.26.2008

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