Centennial's win streak ends at 39 Young Eagles battle, can't stop Northern-Calvert

September 11, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The powerhouse that was Centennial volleyball got spiked yesterday. The No. 1-ranked Eagles, winners of 39 consecutive matches and two state titles over the last two seasons, lost to visiting Northern-Calvert County, 16-14, 15-13, 15-8.

Centennial coach Mike Bossom took the loss in stride, knowing that this was his team's first match -- the Eagles had no scrimmages -- and that Northern (2-0) has one of the state's top programs. The Patriots have won four consecutive state titles.

"There's not a major problem," said Bossom, whose 12-member team has only two returning starters and three seniors. "It's just bits and pieces.

"I'm pleased with most parts of our game. I'm not so pleased with our serving and our serve receive."

Still, Bossom knows plenty of time remains to get better, and he expects just that.

"We have a young team that needs to grow together and get better," said Bossom, whose teams have lost only three matches over the last four years. "I definitely think we have the athletic and volleyball talent. We will get better. We just need time playing together."

Centennial senior setter Lisa Chapman echoed that point.

"It's like starting over from scratch," said Chapman, who was a freshman when the Eagles lost their last match of the 1995 season to eventual state champion Mount Hebron in the Class 3A East region championship. "This is a young team, and a lot of players haven't played against this type of competition. With time, we'll get better."

Said Northern coach Beth Incrocci: "Centennial is nowhere near the team they're going to be at the end of the year. They're an excellent team, and big things are going to come from them at the end of the season."

Northern, a Class 3A school, one level higher than Centennial, took a 14-9 lead in the 34-minute first game. The Eagles held off six game points before losing.

The Patriots jumped to a 12-6 lead in the second game. Again, the Eagles came back -- and even led, 13-12 -- before Sarah Haynes served out the game.

Centennial fell behind 10-1 in the third game, rallied to within three before Northern won five of the last six points.

"We never game up. We fought to the end," said Chapman. "We just fell a little short."

Junior Kim Emrich led Centennial with 12 kills, and Katie Radford had 11 for Northern.

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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