Psyched, Vikes sweep Centennial, win division Unbeaten Mount Hebron ends Eagles' 7-year reign

October 16, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron coach Kedre Fairley had her team meet in a room two hours before yesterday's match with fourth-ranked Centennial.

"We hung out, made our poster, danced, sang, and got pumped up," said Mount Hebron senior middle hitter Samantha Crehan. "If someone had to go to the bathroom, we all went -- team unity."

During that time, Fairley kept repeating a message.

"I told them we had to win it in three games to show that we were the better team," she said. "And to show them we didn't get lucky the first time."

The second-ranked Vikings didn't have any luck yesterday -- and they certainly didn't need it. Mount Hebron dominated the Eagles in every phase en route to a 15-10, 15-6, 15-13 victory.

"That's the best match we've played all season," Fairley said.

The loss meant that Centennial's seven-year reign as county champion is over. The Vikings (11-0 overall, 9-0 league) eliminated the Eagles (6-3, 6-2) by winning their division, which .. includes Centennial, Glenelg, River Hill and Wilde Lake.

The Vikings will play for the county championship Nov. 4 against a team from the other division that includes Atholton (4-2 within division), Howard (3-3), Long Reach (3-3), Hammond (3-4) and Oakland Mills (2-3).

Mount Hebron, which won the county title in 1990, ended Centennial's 31-match victory streak against county teams with a five-game decision Sept. 26. Yesterday's decision was only the second time that Centennial has ever lost in three games. The Eagles lost their opener this season in three games to powerful Northern-Calvert County.

The Vikings, behind a loud, supportive home crowd, started strong. After Centennial's match-opening serve went long, Mount Hebron setter Jacque Armstead responded with an ace. The Vikings won three more points on a Centennial error, a point-block by Crehan and a kill shot by Kristina Kaltreider, who would (team-high nine) and Eagles coach Mike Bossom was calling his first time out.

"That's the strongest we've come out all season," said Crehan, who had a team-high 17 blocks.

"We were so intense," said Armstead, who had a team-high 14 assists.

"I thought we were ready," said Centennial junior Kim Emrich. "But once we got out there we just shut down."

Mount Hebron built a 9-1 lead, then watched Centennial run off six straight points. The Vikings took a 14-7 lead, then needed six service attempts before finishing the game. Mount was superior in every way, especially at the net.

"They touched a lot of balls on the blocks, and even though they didn't win a lot of points on them, that was always in our hitter's mind -- that the block was going to be there," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom.

"Our blocks were definitely on today," Kaltreider said. "We totally shut their outside down."

Mount Hebron ran off the first seven points of the second game, and never looked back.

Centennial took a 5-1 lead in the third game, but Mount Hebron won five points on Armstead's serve for an 8-6 advantage. Centennial rallied for a 12-9 margin, and led 13-12 before Mount Hebron closed it out.

"They do a lot of good things," Bossom said, "They're a good team."

Pub Date: 10/16/98

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