O'Connor, No. 1 Centennial drub fifth-ranked Glenelg Senior has 9 kills, 5 blocks as Eagles sweep match

September 26, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

She doesn't jump very high, and she hits the ball with an unorthodox motion.

So what?

Kathleen O'Connor can play, and she proved it again last night, leading top-ranked Centennial to a 15-9, 15-4, 15-4 victory over fifth-ranked Glenelg.

"This is the best match I've seen her play," Centennial coach Mike Bossom said. "She had a great night at the net. Whatever she did, I want to bottle it."

O'Connor, a 5-foot-11 senior, had nine kills, five point-blocks and only one error. She was especially impressive on quick sets that the Gladiators (3-2 overall, 1-2 league) couldn't stop.

"There are so many things we can do with our offense, and that [quick sets] happened to be working and we stayed with it," said O'Connor, who gave credit to setters Susan Yi and Lisa Chapman. "There is no way I could have done that without the passing being on."

Bossom also complimented his team's passing. "The pass was always where it needed to be," Bossom said. "It's the first time our passing has been so consistent that we could truly run our offense."

Both teams looked sharp at times defensively, with players coming up with excellent digs, but neither served well, and Glenelg definitely had the worst of it. The Gladiators won back-to-back points only once in the match.

"Our service errors just crushed us," Glenelg coach Marlene Dugan said. "It took away a lot of our momentum."

Said Glenelg junior Jamie Bullock: "We have to work hard to get it back, then we serve it out. It's frustrating."

Glenelg won two straight points to tie the score at 9-all in the first game. But the Gladiators' next two serves went long and into the net, and the Eagles (5-0, 4-0) took advantage to win the next five points and the game.

Glenelg led, 2-1, in the second game, before a 10-1 run gave the Eagles an 11-3 lead. During that time, Glenelg failed three straight times to serve the ball in.

The Eagles won the first seven points of the third game. They increased the lead to 11-2, then closed out the match with three straight points. Fittingly, O'Connor won the last point with a block.

"They were really focused tonight," Bossom said about his team. "Everything was there."

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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