Centennial dominates Lansdowne in semifinal 3A volleyball

November 18, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

LA PLATA -- Only once this season had the Lansdowne volleyball team faced an opponent with players as tall as those on No. 2 Centennial.

The result was a deflating three-game loss to Perry Hall.

And at last night's Class 3A state semifinals at Charles County Community College, Lansdowne's shortcomings again proved to be one of the differences.

But Centennial's sheer dominance was the other.

With nine players at least as tall as the tallest Viking, the Eagles scored a 15-6, 15-6, 15-2 win to advance to the Class 3A title game Saturday at 5 p.m. at Catonsville Community College against Walt Whitman of Montgomery County. Whitman beat Douglass of Prince George's County, 15-9, 15-3, 15-11, in last night's other semifinal.

The Eagles (22-1), winners of 64 of their past 65 matches, will be shooting for their third straight state title and fourth in the past five years.

After coaching his team through the tough Howard County League, Centennial coach Bill Shook said he finds the playoffs to be almost anti-climactic.

"I think Howard County is overall the strongest county in the state, so this can't compare to what we've already been through," said Shook, whose team scored two victories against county-rival Glenelg earlier this season. "After Glenelg, it was all downhill."

That was apparent from the start last night.

The Eagles scored the first six points of the match, establishing their dominance at the net early. Krisha Srehla, a dominating 6-foot-1 hitter, led the opening rally with a block and a kill.

The Vikings (14-3) got as close as 8-6 before dropping the final seven points.

In Game 2, after Lansdowne broke out to a 4-1 lead, Centennial scored 10 straight points, all off the serving of Sheri Kujawa, to take an 11-4 lead.

Then, with the Eagles leading, 11-6, Centennial's Carlyn Cangiano took over.

Using a hard jump serve loaded with topspin, the 6-foot junior served up four straight aces to finish off the game. With her team leading 3-0 in the third, she served up seven aces in eight attempts as Centennial went up, 12-0. All told, Cangiano had 13 aces in her final 18 serve attempts, sending dying quails to the feet of Lansdowne players.

"I don't think I've ever had that many [aces] like that before," said Cangiano. "My coaches told me to be aggressive and my jump serve is definitely an aggressive serve. I just wanted to hit it hard."

She also led the team with seven kills, while teammates Srehla, Kelly West and Erika Hockycko had five each.

The only negative for the Eagles was that they didn't get a tougher test before the state finals.

"This was more of a mental challenge for us," said the Eagles' Chrissy Sfakianos. "We had to show we weren't taking this lightly. We tried to take ourselves to another level."

For the Vikings, whose tallest player is 5 feet 8 and who built their season on a pass-oriented offense, Centennial's height and athletic ability proved to be just too much.

Said Lansdowne coach Jason Dykstra: "We got outclassed. They were on and we couldn't get into any kind of a rhythm. They're just a great, great team."

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