Centennial coasts past Glenelg Eagles clear their bench on way to 3-game victory

October 22, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

They sit on the bench and wait for their turn.

The second string?

"I don't think of them as my second unit," Centennial coach Mike Bossom said. "I feel comfortable putting them in for any of my starters. They are the future of the program."

For the majority of matches this season, Bossom has sat down most of his starters after the Eagles have won two games. Such was the case yesterday in top-ranked Centennial's 15-9, 15-5, 15-5 victory over host Glenelg, and it was the performance from his underclassmen that Bossom was most pleased about.

"I was very happy," Bossom said. "I called a timeout when we were down [4-2], and they came out and turned it around. They turned up their intensity."

Sophomores Kim Emrich and Beth Stradling and juniors Julie Taury and Vikki Granai joined starters Marcy Cangiano (senior) and Lisa Chapman (junior) to begin the third game. Juniors Andrea Cormier and Rachel Alpert also entered the game.

For Emrich, the worst part is coming off the bench cold. One of the good things, she said, is the support of the seniors.

"They treat us great," Emrich said. "They are very enthusiastic and supportive when we are out there."

"It helps them when we cheer," said Michelle Flather, who along with other senior starters Briana Zolak (11 kills) and Robyn West (five kills), did not play the third game. "I think it helps them to be more confident."

Emrich added: "Everyone treats us like everybody else. I don't think there is a first string or second string."

With half of the 14 players on the team seniors, Bossom knows that playing his underclassmen (five juniors, two sophomores) together is a key to continuing the program's success.

"They have to be the leaders of everyone that's coming up," Bossom said.

"It's all about confidence," Emrich said. "They [the seniors] all know what they can do. We have to develop that same amount of confidence."

Centennial (12-0 overall, 11-0 league) looked sharp early en route to a 10-2 lead in the first game. Fifth-ranked Glenelg (8-5, 6-5) rallied with seven straight points but got no closer.

"We were flat, very flat," said Glenelg coach Marlene Dugan, whose squad was without starting setter Chrissy Mills because of sickness. "Win or lose, I was hoping we would play better to get us ready mentally for the playoffs."

Pub Date: 10/22/97

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