Streaky Centennial powers to win over Mount Hebron Eagles show best, worst sides in four-game match


September 24, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Centennial coach Michael Bossom liked what his top-ranked and visiting Eagles showed at times in their 15-2, 15-9, 10-15, hTC 15-4 victory last night over No. 6 Mount Hebron.

He just wanted to see it more often.

"When they were on, they were on," said Bossom. "They just weren't consistent."

Centennial (4-0, 3-0) often overwhelmed Mount Hebron (2-2, 1-2) with its power, often a signature during the four state championships it has won in the past five years.

Robyn West (nine kills), Briana Zolak (six kills), Michelle Flather (six kills), Beth Stradling and Kathleen O'Connor combined to help the Eagles often dominate at the net.

But the Eagles struggled at times. After blowing out the Vikings in the opener, Centennial couldn't seem to find its way in the middle games.

The Eagles had a number of opportunities to sweep the match -- but made a number of errors at the net and on serves that left players shaking their heads afterward.

"I know we can play so much better," said West. "We get like that sometimes. I don't think we've played our best volleyball yet."

They certainly played well in stretches. Behind good serving from Flather, Lisa Chapman (17 assists), Zolak and Marcy Cangiano and some big plays at the net from different people, Centennial scored the match's first nine points and 12 of the first 13.

"The first game was pure intimidation," said Mount Hebron coach Kedre Fairley. "But after that, we settled down and gave them a run for their money."

The Vikings came alive in the second game. Kristina Kaltreider made several good plays at the net and Shannon Toback hustled all over the court to help the team stay close.

That game was tight early, but the Eagles ran off six in a row after Mount Hebron cut it to 8-7 to take control.

Game 3 saw Mount Hebron play its best volleyball. The game was tied at eight when Toback and Jacqueline Armstead made some good serves to help the Vikings reel off five in a row. The Eagles scored two, but Kaltreider then served out the game.

Centennial took over again at the start of the final game. The Eagles scored three of the first four points, but Cangiano served five in a row that gave Centennial take a 10-3 lead. Susan Yi (11 assists) also made a number of good passes.

The match's final point showed how much power Centennial can have at times. After a Cangiano serve, West smashed a shot literally knocked Kaltreider backwards and she fell to the floor.

"If we pass well and hit the ball to the floor, the other team cannot score," said Bossom. "In the first and fourth games, the intensity level was high and that was the difference."

Pub Date: 9/24/97

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