Centennial survives a scare, tops Atholton in four games

October 24, 1992|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

If nothing else, top-ranked Centennial should thank Atholton for not bowing easily in their Howard County volleyball match yesterday.

In a notice of the tough competition ahead in postseason play, Centennial struggled before defeating the Raiders on their home court, 15-10, 15-8, 13-15, 15-5.

Centennial (16-0, 10-0 in the county) gave every indication it was en route to its 15th sweep this season. But after recovering from early deficits to coast in the first two games, the Eagles blew a 10-4 edge in the third game. It was the first time in 1 1/2 years that the Eagles' starting lineup lost a game.

Centennial's Krish Svehla, a 6-foot sophomore who had eight kills on the match, saved four for the final game, as the Eagles won for the 36th consecutive time. "That's the best challenge we've had all year, and it's surely a sign of things to come," Centennial coach Bill Shook said.

The Raiders gave the Eagles fits courtesy of blocks and kills by sophomore Robin McGraw and senior Kelly Smith, last week's Female Athlete of the Week for The Sun. Atholton (7-4, 6-4), which fell to Centennial earlier this year in three quick sets, jumped to an 8-4 lead in the first game. The Eagles, however, scored nine straight points.

Centennial trailed, 4-3, in the second game. But five- and four-point serving sprees by juniors Carrie Shadrick and Carlyn Cangiano, respectively, opened an eight-point lead for the Eagles.

The third game consisted of 31 service breaks. Down 13-12, the Raiders scored the final three points on two unforced hitting errors and Smith's point block.

Raiders coach Jon Peterson got his wish of seeing how a power such as Centennial reacts when it trails in points. Before yesterday's match, the Eagles had lost one other game this season -- with a substitute lineup.

"It fires them up," Peterson said. "They normally don't make a lot of mistakes, but they made a lot more mistakes today than the first time we played."

* Arundel 3, North County 2: Arundel beat host North County (6-4, 4-2), 15-8, 8-15, 6-15, 15-6, 15-12. Senior Kathy Brady had 43 attacks, 22 kills and six aces.

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