Centennial's net play overcomes Atholton

93% serving is also key as No. 3 Eagles sweep, run league record to 6-0

High Schools

Volleyball

October 04, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Having won two games at scrappy host Atholton, Centennial's volleyball team seemed to have adjusted to the absence of an injured starter.

Just when it seemed the Eagles would cruise to only their second, three-game win of the season, 6-foot senior hitter Lindsay Feller bruised her thigh diving for a low serve and did not return. But what coach Mike Bossom saw next was encouraging.

Behind a mixture of senior reserves and underclassmen -- most notably junior Kate Feldmann and sophomores Angela Brudis and Heather Simpson -- the third-ranked Eagles overcame a four-point deficit to win the third game and complete the sweep, 15-4, 15-6, 15-12.

"In practice every day we put ourselves in those situations and we're all expected to perform," Bossom said. "Atholton was really coming after us, and we did perform when the pressure was on."

Feller, who isn't expected to miss any games because of her injury, finished with eight kills. and 6-foot-2 Kelsey Tyree had 10. The Kelly twins, Olivia and Leanna, along with Erica Swann and Julia Monzone, were part of a 93 percent serving effort by Centennial (6-1, 6-0 Howard County).

"We came out really intense, and our setters made it easy for us to hit," said Feller. "We showed our depth and commitment in the third game. We were determined to win. The last few games, we had to work up to playing like this."

The defending Class 2A state champion Eagles had struggled since junior setter Molly Reitz separated her right shoulder in a loss to Dulaney. Reitz said she will miss at least three more weeks. Without her, the Eagles were extended to five games by Mount Hebron.

The Raiders (2-4, 3-4) hung with the Eagles early in each of the first two games, but succumbed to Centennial's strong net play.

"This was the most energetic we've been," said Monzone.

Said Swann: "We didn't have as much determination on Monday against Mount Hebron as we did tonight. I've never seen the team so excited and ready to play."

Down 10-4 in the second game, Atholton's scrappy defense stemmed the tide somewhat. But at 10-6, the Raiders lost possession after consecutive kills by Ashley Whitmire and Tyree, who served out the game's final three points.

"They were getting the kills and the blocks," said Atholton coach Bruce Lindblad. "We couldn't generate an attack."

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