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Lindquist Is Difference for Ocean View

Volleyball: Seahawks have lots of talent, but the team revolves around junior setter.

September 18, 1997|MICHAEL ITAGAKI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Ocean View High never has been regarded as a volleyball powerhouse in Orange County.

The Seahawks never have advanced to a Southern Section championship game in the sport, but they have reached the semifinals. In fact, that's where their season has ended in each of the past two seasons.

But this season, with junior setter Tracy Lindquist and a team loaded with talent, the Seahawks are primed to take the next step.

"There's no person on this team who's a star," Ocean View Coach Tim Mennealy said. "That's why this team is so good."

Still, everything revolves around Lindquist.

"She's the best all-around volleyball player I've ever worked with," said Rob Machan, who coaches Lindquist on the Power club volleyball team and formerly coached at La Habra and Westminster high schools. "The whole level of the team rises when Tracy plays."

And Lindquist has some familiar faces to work with this season.

"I'm playing with some friends that I've known since kindergarten," she said.

They aren't bad players either. Outside hitters Shelby Jameson, Sara Pollaro and Sharon Shelton, middle blockers Carissa Gough and Jessica Bradosky each earned All-Golden West League honors last season and senior Amy Knebel, an outside hitter, was the league's MVP.

"We have a good mix," Mennealy said. "Shelby and Sara are two of our seniors and they're vocal leaders. Amy is our most powerful hitter. There is a mix of seniors and younger players."

And Lindquist sets an example.

"Tracy does everything I want her to do before I even have to ask," Mennealy said. "She has incredible intuition in every aspect of the game."

Said Machan: "She has a hustle and desire that are contagious on a team."

That hustle and work ethic are things that Lindquist's parents, Dave and Debbie, have instilled in all three of their daughters.

As a freshman at Ocean View, Tracy played volleyball with one of her older sisters, Katie, 19, who is now a sophomore setter at San Diego. Tricia, 22, played basketball at Pepperdine after graduating from Ocean View.

Tracy also played basketball but since has quit to concentrate on volleyball, even if it's not indoors.

"I love playing on the beach because you need to use all of your shots," Lindquist said. "It's not just setting and digging."

And those all-around abilities figure to make Lindquist one of the more highly recruited players in the county.

"Although she is only 5 feet 6, I think she'll be an effective setter for a Division I university," Machan said. "It's unfortunate if her size affects how she gets recruited. Even if it does, I think the positives she brings far outweigh the negatives.

"And she'll get to prove it this season and during the club season when she competes against all of the top 18-year olds who will be moving on to college."

But there's plenty of unfinished business for Lindquist. She and her teammates know this will be the Seahawks' best chance at winning the school's first section title.

And they hope their togetherness will be a big asset.

"There are some teams that have good players but they can't get along with each other, on or off the court," Pollaro said. "That's never a problem with us."

Said Jameson: "Some of us have been playing together since the fourth grade. It's great. We know what to expect from each other.

"We have high expectations for this season."

Although Ocean View begins the season ranked ninth in The Times Orange County's preseason poll, the Seahawks aren't too worried about what anyone expects or thinks about their team.

So the Seahawks aren't nervous about this weekend's Orange County Championships. Ocean View, which will compete for a Division III-A section championship, is entered in Division I with the rest of the county heavyweights for the county championships.

"But that's not what this team is about," Mennealy said. "Sure, they would like to do well at the end of this season and they are looking forward to being tested by the best teams in the county at this tournament. But they just want to see where they can be pushed to, playing against the best."

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