Howard County volleyball enthusiasts might have noticed a familiar face while watching the CBS broadcast of the Ravens-Patriots game last Sunday.
River Hill senior Megan Rosburg, whose father, Jerry, is the Ravens’ assistant coach and special teams coordinator, took care of the cable to quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn’s headset and was prominent in many of the sideline shots of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
After the broadcast, just about everyone she’s talked to has asked her about it, said Rosburg, an all-county outside hitter.
“I guess I’m the new movie star,” said Rosburg with a laugh after her team’s win over Mt. Hebron on Tuesday.
Rosburg said that she usually works similar odd jobs on the sideline during home games, but last Sunday was her first experience traveling with the team.
“I got the call during practice (Saturday) morning. After practice, I went home showered and was in Providence (R.I., 30 minutes south of the Patriots stadium) the next hour,” she said.
Rosburg said that it is not intimidating rubbing elbows with NFL athletes.
“They’re actually the nicest team we’ve ever been on. Everyone always asks me, ‘How’s your volleyball? How’s your team doing?’ They’re family,” she said. “I’m completely a Ravens fan. Wherever we go you always want to root on dad because his success depends on if you stay or not. The Ravens are the best organization we’ve ever been with.”
River Hill volleyball is 10-1 and gearing up for a run in the 3A East playoffs.
Rosburg said she is not sure when the next opportunity to travel with the Ravens will come, but she’ll jump at the chance.
“If they give me the call, I’ll surely go if I can. It was awesome,” she said. “It was nice because I get to spend time with my dad, too. That’s the best part about it.”
Before Wednesday night’s state semifinal win over Northern, Centennial sophomore right side hitter Liz Brown, who is listed as 5-foot-11, warmed up as a setter. During the match, in a set up coach Larry Schofield called “the Z option,” Brown played at times as setter, giving the Eagles a bigger block to combat Northern’s renowned offense. Brown converted on eight assists as Centennial outblocked Northern, 5-1.
The system worked. Centennial swept Northern, considered one of the best team’s in the state, 3-0. Schofield said that he did not use the Z option against Fallston in the regional championship, because Northern was there scouting, and he did not want them to be able to prepare for what he had in store.
So what does this have to do with 2009? Centennial setters Jackie Hawkins and Karen Hillsley graduate after this season. Junior Katherine Barry has seen action at the position this season, and the Eagles could always promote from the JV or freshman team. Heck, their could even be an incredible eighth grader out there waiting to take over.
But having a tall setter allows a team to run their offense without sacrificing the block when the setter rotates to the front row. Reservoir used a tall setter, 6-foot-4 Tiffany Jacobson, to go undefeated and win a state championship in 2007. Their opponent that year was Huntingtown, which made it to the state championship match three years in a row with 6-foot setter Lauren Jeschelnik.
When discussing the “Z option” after the win Wednesday, Centennial’s current setter, Hawkins, joked that Brown “was born to be a setter, but she’s just too tall.”
To which Schofield replied, “tell that to Alisha Glass,” referring to Penn State’s 6-foot tall junior setter. Glass, who holds the national high school record for career kills, converted to setter collegiately, and so far this season has 964 assists and 76 blocks.
While Schofield may have other plans for ‘09, Brown at setter is at least an intriguing option.
Every year around early November it’s the same scene: Howard County volleyball team faces non-Howard County volleyball team in the early rounds of the playoffs and dominates. Baltimore City, Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, Harford County … Howard County teams played representatives of all of them and the results were one-sided.
Glenelg was beating a Baltimore City school so decisively in the first round that coach Don Beall had his team stick around for an impromptu practice afterward. At one point the opponent was having so much trouble dealing with Casey Schmidt’s serve — to be fair, Schmidt’s serve is too hot to handle even for most county schools — that Beall told her to serve one out just to get another player to the line.
In Reservoir’s match against an Anne Arundel County team, things were so one-sided that coach Carole Ferrante had her team practice plays, not afterward but on the court during the match. Only three Gators made it to the line to serve before each game was over, and the team had 29 aces.
A Prince George’s County team scored 30 points total against Hammond, and 11 of them were on Hammond service errors.
What’s my point? It’s certainly not to make fun of anyone. And I’m not saying these schools shouldn’t be playing volleyball. The team that played Glenelg had six uniformed players — not a single substitute. But those six girls got to wear a team uniform, they got to take a bus ride to Western Howard County, and they got to say they were on a team.
My point is that we should be thankful for the quality of volleyball we have here in Howard County. We’ve had 22 state champions and we seem to have a handful of teams make the state tournament every single year. The Columbia Volleyball Club is considered the premier club program in the state.
So next time you see a player serve a ball into the net, a line judge blow a call, or a coach make a questionable decision, try to remember what volleyball is like in other parts of Maryland before you start shouting your fool head off.
Brostrom has led the undefeated Eagles with 46 kills, 11 aces, and 50 digs going into October. Those numbers do not include the Eagles’ tournament championship at the Bulldog Invitational, a tournament at North Caroline High that includes private schools and is considered the toughest tournament in the state. As a freshman, Brostrom was named second team all-county and recorded 149 kills, fifth in the county. Centennial has yet to drop a game in a dual-match play. Centennial is 10-0 this week heading into matches with River Hill (9-1), Catonsville (9-1), and Wilde Lake (9-1).
* TV show I can’t miss: Lost
* Favorite pre-game locker room song: Let it Rock, Kevin Rudolf
* Best on court moment: Beating Mount de Sales to win the Bulldog tournament
* Best movie I saw recently: The Dark Knight
* Top professional athlete role model: Misty May Treanor
* Hardest class you ever took: This year’s English 10 Honors
* When I grow up I want to: work in pharmacy or physical therapy
Got an idea for a ‘30-second Time Out’ question? Know a local athlete who would be an ideal candidate for a ‘30-second Time Out?’ Send your suggestions to the sports staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew took his first job with the Howard County Times as an editorial assistant/obituary writer in 2001. He has written about an array of sports, from rugby to roller skate dancing. Andrew was a (mediocre) swimmer at Loyola College, but he enjoys playing many sports, including rec-league softball, kickball, basketball, football, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee. He would play rec-league unicycle badminton if he could find a league. He is a fan of all the Baltimore sports clubs, from the O’s to the Blast. When he’s not obsessing over the athletic endeavors of others, Andrew enjoys watching zombie movies from the 70s and 80s. He resides in Catonsville.