Eagles open jittery, then sweep River Hill Centennial, McDonough meet again, for region

November 06, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Top-ranked Centennial looked very good at times last night in its Class 2A South region semifinal match at third-ranked River Hill.

Then again, there were times the Eagles looked average -- most notably in the first game, when they had eight service errors.

But the Eagles are too talented and too well-coached to let a little inconsistent serving get in the way of the big picture -- a seventh state championship. Centennial cut its serving errors -- four in the next two games -- and moved on for a 15-11, 15-1, 15-7 victory.

The Eagles (16-0) will play at Charles County's McDonough (18-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday for the region title.

McDonough, which defeated Long Reach last night, lost in five games last year to Centennial in a state Class 3A semifinal match.

"It should be a great match," Centennial coach Mike Bossom said. "I just hope we come out on top."

Centennial started off each game against River Hill (14-3) with a lead -- 10-0 in the first, then 7-0 and 4-0.

"It took us too long each game to get going," said Hawks coach Sybil Modispacher.

What also hurt River Hill was its poor passing.

"We made many, many, many passing errors," Modispacher said.

Said River Hill senior setter Amber Rieg: "Our hearts were in it, but our passing wasn't. It just never came together."

Centennial had a stretch in the first game when it failed to win a point on five straight serves, won four straight points then didn't win a point on its next six serves.

"We didn't serve very well," said Bossom.

But Bossom said overall his offense played well -- "I thought our offense looked smooth and was very well run" -- and the defense looked sharp.

River Hill ran off six straight points to pull within 13-11 in the first game before Centennial's Robyn West (eight kills) ended it with a point block. She then won the next two points for the Eagles and the game.

River Hill's only point in the second game came when a Centennial player hit long. Briana Zolak (13 kills) served out the last eight points.

Centennial's biggest run of points in the third game was three, increasing a four-point lead to 13-6.

Modispacher said the biggest disappointment of an otherwise "great season" was that "there were three girls [seniors Rieg, Beth Thomas, Ingrid Frank] that walked off the court that won't be back."

"We had a really good season, and a great time together," Rieg said. "The sad part is that we won't ever be playing together again."

Sophomores Shannon Patrick and Lisa Humphrey led River Hill with eight and six kills, respectively. Sophomore Carrie Kelehan, who received a doctor's approval to play with mononucleosis, had four kills.

Francis Scott Key 3, Urbana 0: Jessica Broderick had nine kills, and Carrie Ness added 14 service points as the Eagles (10-6) advanced to the Class 3A West finals, 16-14, 15-10, 15-5.

Severna Park 3, Queen Anne's 1: Julie Gosewisch had 24 kills and was 24-of-25 serving with four aces as the visiting Falcons (17-1) handed the Lions (16-1) their first loss of the season in a Class 4A East semifinal.

South River 3, Parkside 1: Jessica Freeman had five kills and Caroline Tippett added four more as the Seahawks (10-6) advanced to the Class 2A East finals.

No. 5 Dulaney 3, Patterson 0: The host Lions (16-1) lost only two points on the way to an easy win in the Class 4A North semifinals.

No. 10 Annapolis 3, Glen Burnie 1: Kammi Cottrell and Emily Dammeyer combined for 16 kills as the host Panthers (14-1) advanced to their first Class 4A East Region final.

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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