1996 Outlook

Celebrate the Excitement! Call it a thunderstorm of excitement! An absolute hurricane of thrilling competition and non-stop action. Or call it Maryland volleyball! It may be the most exciting year yet for Maryland as the 1996 version of the Maryland volleyball team once again sets its sights on the National Championship tournament.

As tradition dictates, Coach Janice Kruger and her staff offer fans and opponents fun and intense competition. Solid senior leadership and an impressive group of youthful talent create a powerful blend.

When the Terrapins begin the 1996 season, they will be without the services of two-time All-ACC selection Sherry Smith. Also gone are departing seniors Carrie Jaeck, Kim Mosley and Moneach Surber. What they left behind, however, was a solid foundation of aggressive players ready to continue the winning tradition.

Despite the departure of these four seniors, Kruger and the Terrapins have much to be excited about. With seniors Elizabeth Efron, Daune Koester and Shannon Saltzman leading the way, there will be a whirlwind of activity at the Terrapin camp.

Also returning to the Terrapin lineup are seniors Candice Seitz and Shantelle Johnson, junior Eden Kroeger, and sophomores Tania Nagl and Jaime Summers. Adding new punch is junior Lindy Forsberg, sophomore Kimberly Adolphs and freshman Kate Hannas. Returning junior Conya Jabari-Kitwala, who sat out the 1995 season, completes the exciting Maryland lineup.

The list of returning starters for the Terrapins includes Efron, Krueger, Koester and Saltzman. As the second leading offensive threat behind Smith, Elizabeth Efron returns to the Terrapin lineup as an outside hitter for her final stint at Maryland. An intimidating and exciting player, the 1995 Second Team All-ACC selection has become a favorite among Maryland fans and will be a prime candidate for 1996 all-conference honors. Playing her first season at Maryland last year after transferring from the University of Argentina, Efron was one of three players named to the ACC All-Tournament team. She led the team in service aces with 55, and ranked second in kills with 340, including 32 kills against North Carolina which tied the school record. She established herself as a tough all-around player, recording 226 digs and 74 blocks.

Starting setter Eden Kroeger returns for her junior season after charting amazing statistics the past two seasons. The 5-7 native of Englewood, Colo., assumes the 'quarterback' position, and will also serve as co-captain. Kroeger broke every assist record as a freshman, including the season record with 1,405. Last season she registered 1,245 assists, an 11.1 per game average, and was second on the team in digs with 318. Returning for her fourth season at Maryland, and this year's co-captain, is two-year starter, outside hitter Daune Koester. The native of Redford, Minn., possesses an explosive, quick arm swing and could see the best season of her career. She registered 304 kills for the Terps last season, and added 295 digs.

Another familiar face in the Maryland lineup is middle hitter Shannon Saltzman. The 6-0 native of Ellicott City, Md., was a 1995 ACC All-Tournament team selection. She hit .262 and pounded 235 kills. Her 94 block assists ranks her 10th in the Maryland single-season record books. Critical support for the four returning starters will be provided by Seitz and Johnson and the rest of the Maryland contingent.

As a 5-10 outside hitter, Candace Seitz brings experience to the Maryland squad. She was one of Maryland's top reserves last season, playing in 30 of 32 matches. She averaged 2.3 kills and 2.6 digs per game. Playing a critical role in the setting scheme is Shantelle Johnson. Johnson saw action in 28 matches last season, totaling 319 assists, a 4.8 per game average. Tania Nagl and Jaime Summers round out the list of returning players. Both players saw limited action behind strong upper class talent, but return with a year of practice and experience under their belts.

Fresh faces and new enthusiasm will be plentiful among the Terrpain squad this season.

Returning junior Conya Jabari-Kitwala will be joined by junior college transfer Lindy Forsberg, sophomore transfer Kimberly Adolphs, and true freshman Kate Hannas. Middle hitter Conya Jabari-Kitwala is a 6-0 native of Las Vegas, Nev. She tansferred to Maryland from Minnesota a year ago and sat out the 1995 season. She, too, has a year of practice and experience behind her and will add depth in the middle.

The three newest faces who will be wearing the Maryland colors this fall are Lindy Forsberg, Kimberly Adolphs and Kate Hannas. Forsberg, a 5-10 outside hitter, comes to Maryland after a successful two-year stint at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. Forsberg was named MVP in 1995, and was also selected to the all-Northern California team. The California native is a versatile player, and will challenge for a starting role. Adolphs, like Forsberg, transferred to Maryland from Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). The 5-9 outside hitter is a multi-talented player who will make an immediate impact on the Terrapin squad. She trained with the 1996 Australian Senior National Team and played on the Australian Junior Team for two years. At 6-3, Hannas ranks as the tallest player on the team. Like Forsberg, she is capable of playing any position on the court, and is especially explosive at the net. Hannas led Mt. Hebron to the 1996 3A region and state championships. Hannas was a member of the Columbia Volleyball club team where she was named to the Nike Northeast National Qualifier and the Shamrock Festival all-tournament teams. It appears Kruger is loading up for another successful run at the ACC championship. The picture will become clearer as the season progresses and the Terrapins take on some of the best teams in the nation.

Among the samplers on this year's plate are Texas A&M and Florida who finished the '95 season ranked 15th and sixth, respectively. The Conference race continues to tighten as Georgia Tech and Clemson join Maryland in making their move towards national prominence. Georgia Tech finished the '95 campaign ranked No. 22 in the nation.

The Terrapins open their season on the road against Villanova at the Hofstra Invitational where they also face Loyola College and Hofstra. Madison, Wis., is the next stop on the Terrapin road tour for the Wisconsin Invitational. The tournament lineup features Big 10 powerhouse Wisconsin, nationally-ranked Texas A&M, and Loyola Chicago. After a stop at Georgetown on Sept. 10, the Terps return home to host the Holiday Inn-College Park Invitational on Sept. 13-14. Maryland welcomes William & Mary and George Washington to this year's tournament.

The Terps owned a perfect 12-0 record at home last year. ACC action begins on Sept. 20 when Maryland hosts Virginia. This year's ACC Tournament is scheduled for November 22-24 at Georgia Tech. As the Terrapins plan for the storm of activity and excitement that lies ahead with a new season, new players and new challenges, one thing is clear -- it will be a thunderous year for Maryland volleyball. Come celebrate the excitement!