From the HCC sports desk:
BEL AIR, Md.—The Harford women’s volleyball team will travel to Penn State-York for a scrimmage on a date that is yet to be determined before beginning the 2009 season at the Howard Dragon Invitational from August 29-30, head coach Jason Colangelo announced recently.
The Fighting Owls will face Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference rivals Frederick, CCBC-Essex, Division-III Region XX champion, district champion and NJCAA DIII National Tournament seventh-place finisher Anne Arundel and Division-I Region XX runner-up and MDJUCO regular-season runner-up College of Southern Maryland in pool play on Saturday, with Sunday reserved for the top two teams in each pool at the Howard tournament.
“I think that the Howard tournament will really help our team,” Colangelo said. “Because there are so many teams at the tournament that are on our schedule, it will help us see where we are and where we need to be in order to compete with those teams later in the season.”
September 3 will see the Owls face the newly-formed Delaware Tech-Terry team in their home opener at Susquehanna Center before kicking off MDJUCO conference play on the road at Howard on September 8. That match will be the beginning of a three-game conference roadstand which will also pit Harford against Baltimore City (Sept. 10) and CCBC-Essex (Sept. 15), before they return home to face the perennially-strong College of Southern Maryland on September 17.
“This season, we’d like to be a little bit more competitive in conference play,” Colangelo said. “We match-up well with a few teams in the MDJUCO like Cecil, [CCBC] Essex and Frederick, but we would like to progress to the level that we can compete with a Hagerstown or [College of] Southern Maryland. That may be a few years down the road, after some good recruiting, but that’s where we want to be eventually.”
A trip to Annandale, Va. on September 19 will see Harford face Northern Virginia, which is transitioning to a full schedule of intercollegiate play, before returning to Susquehanna Center for a three-game homestand against CCBC-Catonsville (Sept. 21), Allegany (Sept. 24) and non-conference foe Valley Forge Military (Sept. 26).
The Owls will finish off the month of September with a trip to Garrett (Sept. 29) before beginning a brutal October schedule which will see the Owls face National Christian College Athletic Association East Region runner-up Lancaster Bible twice (Oct. 1 and 13), D-I Region XX semifinalist Chesapeake (Oct. 6), D-III national participant Anne Arundel (Oct. 16) and 2008 D-I No. 20, Region XX and district champion and national participant Hagerstown (Oct. 23), in addition to the high-caliber competition at the Hagerstown Tournament (Oct. 10-11).
The 12-team tournament will feature MDJUCO rivals Frederick, Howard, CCBC-Catonsville, College of Southern Maryland and host Hagerstown in addition to non-conference Mott, Northern Virginia, Pitt, Region X runner-up Cape Fear and NJCAA district semifinalist Jackson with pool play on Saturday and winner’s and loser’s single-elimination brackets on Sunday.
“There are a number of teams that we are unfamiliar with or have not played at the Hagerstown tournament this year, so we don’t know how we might fare,” Colangelo said. “The tournament should be a good test, however, since it falls in the later half of our season.”
Harford will also travel to Montgomery College-Rockville on October 2 and host Cecil (Oct. 12), Frederick (Oct. 19) and Northern Virginia (Oct. 21) to complete the month of October and the regular-season schedule.
The Region XX tournament will be held from October 31-November 1 in Hagerstown, Md. with the winner qualifying for the NJCAA National Tournament from November 19-21 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.