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What Brown can do for Tars

Senior outside hitter becomes Newport Harbor High's new leader as Sailors attempt to duplicate last season's success.

August 26, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Cinnamon Sary has an expanded role this season for Newport Harbor High.
Cinnamon Sary has an expanded role this season for Newport… (FILE PHOTO, Daily…)

Maybe one day, Maddy Brown will write for a newspaper.

The senior at Newport Harbor High wants to be a sportswriter. She is a huge sports fan and she enjoys writing.

No one has published Brown's work yet. For now, other journalists will chronicle her and her girls' volleyball team.

Expect to read a lot about Brown and the Sailors this fall.

The expectations are set high once again at Newport Harbor. That never changes with Dan Glenn as the coach.

Glenn enters his 25th year with the Sailors and he believes Newport Harbor has what it takes to return to the top. The Sailors won the Sunset League title, the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA title and the CIF State Division I title last season.

Three players instrumental to the success have graduated. Middle blocker Katey Thompson is at UC Santa Barbara, outside hitter Kirby Burnham at USC and libero Kelly Heenan at UCSB.

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The spotlight is now on Brown, a 6-foot outside hitter.

"Maddy's going to have a different role," said Glenn, whose team is ranked No. 36 in the country by PrepVolleyball.com. "She's not the kind of featured hitter. She's really good at being the piece of the puzzle. She is going to be more of a go-to girl for us. It's a different deal. It's not that she can't do it. She's great defensively. She can pass. She has a quick arm. She's very calm. She's extremely competitive.

"She's going to have to step up because we lost a lot in Katey and Kirby, who were two of the best hitters in the state last year. Hopefully, Maddy can do it."

Brown plans to deliver the way she normally does, by example.

She said she learned a lot from the seniors last season, from how to compete, to how to be accountable for your actions, to how to get along.

Before the Sailors claimed their seventh section crown and fifth state crown under Glenn, they needed to be there for each other. The Sailors grew closer toward the end of the regular season, before they closed out the final two months with 11 straight victories.

This season's group began to bond in August. The process started while at the Ann Kang Invitational in Hawaii, where the Sailors played more than competitive volleyball for a good week.

"The tournament is only for three days and on the other days we ran Diamond Head, hung out, went to the beach, talked about the upcoming season, and had fun," said Brown, who after graduating from Newport Harbor plans to play at an Ivy League school. "We were definitely motivated to play well."

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