Locals still going strong


September 06, 2011|By Charlie Brande, Daily Pilot

When September rolls around, it is always interesting to see how local girls' volleyball players are doing as they extend their playing days in college.

Whether they play one season or all four years, it is a special time in their lives.

Newport Harbor's Maddy Brown and Corona del Mar's Megan Griffin are finding some playing time at TCU. Maddy is playing well as a back-up outside hitter, while Megan is the back-up setter behind Megan Munce. Munce, a former Newport star, was an All American two season ago, but suffered season-ending ACL injury early last season. She has recovered fully and leads her team in assists and service aces. Megan's toughness in her recovery is not a surprise to any of us who were lucky enough to coach her. That list includes Steve Conti (at Ensign), Dan Glenn (Newport) and Gary Nakamura and myself (club).

Prentice Perkins Lewis, who was a former All-CIF soccer and volleyball player at CdM in the late 1980s coaches the Horned Frogs. TCU is currently undefeated with two tournament championships. Munce was all-tournament in both events.


Sarah Buckingham, out of Newport Harbor, has started her freshman season at New York University with a bang. Not only did she lead her team to the NYU Labor Day Invitational while leading the team in kills per game, she was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament.

Newport's Lauren Demos is making a similar impact at UC San Diego, where she leads the team in hitting percentage. The Tritons are undefeated with Lauren in the middle.

CdM's Morgan Boukather is at Stanford and is battling the returning opposite player for the starting position. She currently is out-hitting the incumbent. Stanford is ranked No. 3 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Assn. poll. An interesting player for the Cardinal is Mary Ellen Luck, who is the sister of Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck, and plays as a starting back-row player.

Another former Sea King, Claire Ham, is on the roster at Auburn. She is struggling with injuries and has not seen any action yet.

Local resident Kathryn Connor (Santa Margarita) is enjoying a very productive freshman season at Brown and has started every match.

CdM's Amanda Nickel is an opposite for the Bears and has had some outstanding games.

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