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The Roanoke Times | File 2012
Harrison O'Keefe's decision to move to Hilton Head Island, S.C., has paid off.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Harrison O'Keefe is still more than a year away from starting college.
The former Salem High School tennis player is quickly proving he belongs there.
O'Keefe, who has committed to South Carolina, added to an already impressive resume this summer by teaming with Jordan Beiga of Boca Raton, Fla. to place third in doubles in the National 18-under Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla., earning a coveted "Bronze Ball."
He advanced to the round of 32 in singles with three victories including one over Duke recruit T.J. Pura.
Earlier this summer, the 17-year-old O'Keefe scored singles victories over several college players, including Hunter Koontz of Virginia Tech and Harrison Richmond of Virginia.
O'Keefe defeated Koontz in the final of an ITA College Summer Circuit event in Fredericksburg. Koontz primarily played No. 3 singles this spring for the Hokies.
O'Keefe knocked off Richmond in the semifinals of the ITA event in Blacksburg before losing to Koontz in the final. Richmond was ranked as high as No. 52 in the nation last year during the NCAA season.
O'Keefe also lost a close 6-4, 6-4 singles match to former UVa star Michael Shabaz in June in the Central Virginia Invitational in Lynchburg. Shabaz is a former Wimbledon junior doubles champion.
"I felt like I was in that match," O'Keefe said. "It makes it seem like there's not that much of a difference between a player like that and where I am right now in my career."
Monday, O'Keefe was somewhere he hasn't been often in the last few months - home.
Barely unpacked from the tournament in Florida, O'Keefe is leaving this week for the USTA National Team Championships in Urbana, Ill., where he will play No. 1 singles for the Mid-Atlantic squad.
From there, O'Keefe will bus to Kalamazoo, Mich., for the USTA National 18-under Hardcourt Championships, where he hopes to be seeded.
"If they count the stuff from the clay events, I might," he said. "It's hard to say."
Regardless, O'Keefe is on a fast career track.
After helping Salem to the 2011 Group AA team championship as a freshman, he spent the past two school year's training at the Smith Stearns Academy in Hilton Head, S.C.
O'Keefe plans to return to Hilton Head next year with a ramped-up agenda.
"I'm pretty sure I'll go back," he said. "That's the plan.
"Next year I'll probably play in some [USTA] Futures events, but you have to qualify. I probably won't play as many junior tournaments."
New Glenvar VB coach brings family legacy
Caitlyn Moore's father coached Glenvar's baseball team to a Group A state championship game.
Her aunt coached Cave Spring's girls basketball team to a pair of Group AAA semifinal appearances.
Now Moore will try to match or better those accomplishments as Glenvar's new volleyball coach.
Moore, who was known as Caitlyn Long when she starred in volleyball and basketball at Cave Spring High School, has a track record of success.
Moore, 25, helped Cave Spring to a pair of VHSL Group AA volleyball championships before graduating in 2006.
She was a two-time All-ODAC volleyball selection at Roanoke College.
For the last three seasons, Moore has been the JV coach and an assistant varsity coach at Cave Spring under Tamalyn Tanis.
Moore's father, Larry Long, is a former head baseball coach at Glenvar. Her aunt, Linda Long, won 209 games in 14 seasons as the girls basketball coach at Cave Spring.
Moore, who recently returned from vacation, said she will run some open gyms at Glenvar until official practice opens next month.
Moore said she welcomes multi-sport athletes.
"Some of the girls play basketball," she said. "I definitely want them to play other sports, especially at a small school."
Glenvar developed a solid volleyball program under head coach Mark Rohrback, who resigned after the 2012 season.
The Highlanders won the Group A championship in 2006 with a 28-0 record.
Glenvar reached the Group A quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009 with a combined 45-5 record.
Glenvar has not won a regional match in the last four years, however, as Auburn has become the dominant program in the Three Rivers District. The Highlanders were 12-12 last fall.
Byrd hires new coach for volleyball program
William Byrd has hired Lauren Howell to direct its volleyball fortunes.
Howell, 25, played both volleyball and tennis at Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, helping the Eagles to the 2006 Group AA tennis championship as a senior.
Howell worked at Hollins University last year and coached Byrd's girls tennis team.
She replaces Amanda Stump, who is now the head volleyball coach at Liberty.
Former Fort Chiswell star gets N.C. coaching job
Fort Chiswell graduate Danielle Moore has been named the girls basketball head coach at Panther Creek High School in Cary, N.C.
Moore, who had a four-year career at Emory & Henry College, was the head volleyball coach and a girls basketball assistant last year at St. Paul's High in Robeson County, N.C.
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