Centennial gets revenge on Mt. Hebron No. 1 Eagles advance to East Region title match

November 07, 1996|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The top-ranked Centennial Eagles came into last night's playoff against No. 5 Mount Hebron with a perfect record, a flawless reputation and unparalleled confidence. Once play began, however, it was the void in their trophy case that took precedence.

Almost a year to the day after having their run at a fifth straight state title halted by a shocking loss to the Vikings, the host Eagles evened the score with a 15-9, 15-8, 15-9 victory over the defending state champions in the Class 3A East Region semifinals.

"We've been waiting for this match for a year," said Centennial's Meredith Price, whose 13 kills and strong all-around net play helped set the tone. "Last year, we beat them twice in the regular season and then lost [in the playoffs]. It was the exact same situation right here. We knew we had to get them the third time."

Centennial (16-0) advances to tomorrow's regional title game at Wicomico County's J. M. Bennett, a 15-1, 15-6, 15-1 winner over Dunbar in yesterday's other semifinal.

To win, however, the Eagles first had to survive a challenging opening game.

Led by hitters Kristina Kaltreider and Katie Coker, Mount Hebron (14-4) rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie at 5 on Kerry Quinn's ace. But that's when the hosts took eight of the next 10 points.

With the strong hitting of Price, Briana Zolak (game-high 15 kills) and Robyn West (nine), along with the often unreturnable serving of sophomore Lisa Chapman (four of the Eagles' nine aces) Centennial proved too much. The Vikings never threatened in Game 2, and relinquished a 9-6 lead in the finale by dropping the final nine points.

"I don't feel bad losing to them," said first-year Vikings coach Kedre Fairley, whose team was 0-3 against Centennial this season. "It's not like I thought my girls didn't play. We put up a fight, but we just don't have what they have."

Coach Mike Bossom said his players used last year's loss to Mount Hebron as a rallying cry.

Glenelg 3, Oakland Mills 0: Kim Laws and Jamie Bollock were a combined 35-for-38 serving with 13 aces as the Gladiators (12-6) swept the host Scorpions (10-8) by 15-2, 15-12, 15-13 in a Class 2A South region semifinal. Glenelg hosts Atholton tomorrow.

Atholton 3, Great Mills 0: Jessica Edwards and Madigan Marth combined for 30 kills and Erin Shaw finished with 33 assists to lead Atholton (13-5) past host Great Mills, 15-2, 15-10, 15-2, in a Class 2A South region semifinal match.

Long Reach 3, River Hill 0: Shannon Patrick lead the way with nine kills, and Lisa Humphrey had five as host River Hill defeated lTC Long Reach, 15-6, 15-8, 15-3 in a Class 1A South region semifinal. Long Reach and F.S. Key will meet in the region final tomorrow.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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