No.4 Centennial meets River Hill's challenge

Rallies in first 2 games help Eagles beat Hawks


High School

October 10, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Often down, yet never out.

That about sums up Centennial's volleyball match against rival River Hill last night, a 15-12, 15-13, 3-15, 15-3 win for the Eagles.

In each of the first two games, No. 5 River Hill jumped out to a big lead, only to see No. 4 Centennial come storming back behind All-Metro hitter Lindsay Feller, who had 12 kills and seven aces to lead the Eagles (8-1 overall, 7-0 Howard County) to a relatively easy win over the Hawks (8-1, 8-1).

"Lindsay Feller just stepped up and starting serving well, and once she did that, I could see things start to crumble," said River Hill coach Sybil Modispacher, who watched her team lose a 12-5 lead in the first game and a 13-7 lead in the second. "In high school volleyball, serving is extremely important. They served well and we didn't and I think it shook our confidence a bit."

Coming in, River Hill certainly looked like it had an excellent chance to beat Centennial for the first time since 1999. The Eagles were still without setter Molly Reitz, who has been out with a shoulder injury, and were at the end of a stretch of playing six matches in 12 days. In fact, Centennial was nearly beaten by Glenelg on Friday, falling behind by two games before rallying to win the next three. But Feller, along with fellow senior Kelsey Tyree (four kills, two blocks) and sophomore Erika Swan (four kills, five aces) simply wouldn't let the Hawks win key points, which proved to be the difference.

"We kind of stuck to basics and served well, which helped us dig out of that hole," Feller said. "To come back like that really gave us a lot more confidence."

River Hill, which finished with 14 service errors for the match, could only wonder what might have been. The Hawks won the third game easily behind stellar serving from Rosana Drake, who at one point rolled off 12 consecutive points on her serve.

But Centennial easily rebounded in the fourth game, getting good serving once again from Swan, Tyree, Olivia Kelly and Julie Mazone to win going away.

"Maybe we learned some this weekend [at the Bulldog tournament]," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom. "We were playing with a little bit of pain and couldn't maybe do the physical things we wanted, so we had to play a little smarter. What I'm looking for is for us to play a little bit better each time out, and we did that tonight."

Drake led the Hawks with three kills and six aces and Megan Mitchell had three kills and four aces.

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