This, that and the other: Some questions about volleyball supremacy were due to be answered last night (past The Howard County Sun deadline) when the county's two unbeaten teams -- Centennial and Mount Hebron -- squared off at Centennial High School.
Hebron (6-0) is this year's upstart, although the Vikings aren't a surprise.
They returned six players from last year's regional championship team that finished third at the Class 2A state tournament. And after getting off to a somewhat sluggish start, the Vikings put it together last week by sweeping Glenelg and Atholton each in three games. They disposed of Atholton quickly on Friday, 15-4, 15-4, 15-8.
"It was our best week of the season," said first-year Hebron coach Jeannine McCrumb. "The Atholton victory was sweet. They just couldn't do anything against us."
The Vikings got contributions from numerous sources. Setter Melissa Murdza, their steadiest player, finished the week with 39 assists and was 21-for-21 serving with nine aces. Kai Scott recorded a team-high 11 aces on 24-for-26 serving. Brooke Christopher was 17-for-19 with seven aces. Hebron has served successfully at a 92 percent clip this season.
Hebron also came together with a strong offensive showing for the week.
Andrea Day led the way with 12 kills and seven point blocks. Christopher had 14 kills. Tracey Porter had a team-leading 15 kills and three point blocks. Angie Kress recorded nine kills.
Howard's Bridget Repsher, arguably the county's best volleyball player, is definitely its unluckiest.
Repsher, the Lions' 5-foot-10 senior hitter who recently recovered from a bout with mononucleosis, was set to return for her first full match last week against Hammond when she suffered a freak injury during, of all things, pre-game warmups.
Repsher sprained her ankle when she stepped on a ball while running across the court.
Howard managed to beat Hammond, but with Repsher unavailable Friday against Centennial, the Lions went down in three quick games. She hopes to play Friday against Glenelg.
The season has been unkind to Repsher, a year-round player who entered her senior year with high hopes.
Her problems began when she reported to summer practice feeling weak, and near the end of August she realized mono was the culprit.
She returned to action in a losing cause against Atholton on Sept. 18, playing sparingly but well considering her long layoff. Since then coach Kathy Arvin had been working her gradually back to full-tilt status.
The Hammond match would have her first complete effort. She's missed three entire matches. Not coincidentally, Howard is off to a disappointing 2-4 start.
Barring an upset, another Centennial coach will reach a milestone this week.
Field hockey coach Gail Purcell bagged her 98th career victory Friday with a 1-0 win against Oakland Mills. With a victory over Howard yesterday, Purcell stood a good chance of celebrating No. 100 against Mount Hebron Friday.
Bill Shook, the Eagles' volleyball coach, won his 100th match two weeks ago.
Lastly, Hammond football coach Joe Russo was unfairly second-guessed in this space last week. I questioned Russo's judgment for playing quarterback Cliff Epps in the final five minutes of a 34-7 blowout by Wilde Lake. Epps suffered a knee injury that threatens to end his season.
In hindsight, Russo didn't deserve that shot. Hammond was still trailing by a respectable 21-7 count and had the ball inside the Wilde Lake 30-yard line when Epps was injured.
Next time we'll get it right the first time, coach.