No. 1 Centennial loses a game to No. 7 Glenelg but prevails

September 28, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

No. 1 Centennial suffered a bit of a scare from No. 7 Glenelg last night, but it didn't last long.

Glenelg tied the match after two games by grinding out a 17-15 win, but the Gladiators could not maintain the momentum.

Centennial (3-0 overall, 3-0 league) scored the last 13 points of the third game en route to a 15-7, 15-17, 15-2, 15-8 victory in a Howard County league match at Glenelg (3-1, 2-1).

In the critical second game, the Gladiators ran up a 14-8 lead. They served so well that the Eagles, who hadn't lost a game this season, had trouble setting up their power offense.

"We weren't passing well," said Eagles coach Mike Bossom, "and with any team when that happens, you just get poor setting. It's not poor setting per se but the passes are bad, therefore the sets aren't perfect, therefore the hitters look really bad. You can look at the errors. Most of the errors we had came in the second game."

But the Eagles emerged from the deficit when Sheri Kujawa's strong serves gave Glenelg the same problem. Centennial won seven points on Kujawa's serve to pull ahead 15-14, but Kujawa's next serve carried wide.

Elisa Davidson tipped an Eagles' overpass to tie the game for Glenelg. Then, two Centennial hitting errors finished off the game and tied the match at one game each.

At that point, the Gladiators seemed to be back in the match, but only briefly. After tying the Eagles at 2-2 in the third game, they couldn't manage another point. They fell behind 4-0 in the fourth game and never got closer than within three points as Centennial closed out the match.

"It's such a head game," said Glenelg coach Marlene Janis. "Because we don't have the experience that Centennial does, when we get down a few points then because it's a mental game, they just lose it. They lost their confidence, and then it was harder for them to get it back."

The Eagles also had the benefit of a stronger bench with Bossom using 10 players regularly while Janis used just six.

After the long second game -- about 50 minutes into a 90-minute match -- the Gladiators were dragging. In the second half of the match, the Eagles just wore them down.

"We did get tired toward the third game," said Glenelg's Jaime Marshall. "because we were losing our confidence more and so we felt more tired. If we had our heads in the game, we wouldn't have been thinking about how tired we were."

For the Gladiators, Davidson led the offense with nine kills on 19-of-22 hitting while Susan Geisler added six kills and Tina Avgerinos, four.

Centennial got a big match from Krisha Svehla with 19 kills on 29-of-39 hitting. Jenny West added 10 kills and Kelly West, six.

The Gladiators will get another chance at Centennial on Oct. 20, but the Eagles say they will be ready for the rematch.

"We realize everybody's gunning for us, but it doesn't bother us," said Eagles captain Chrissy Sfakianos. "We know we have to go in there playing our game, control the momentum and take it to our level which we, so far, have done."

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