Centennial frustrates Mt. Hebron

Sweep of 3 close games reflects fixes, coach says

No. 4 Eagles improve to 2-1


September 13, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Centennial volleyball team never looked at its Howard County league match yesterday with No. 7 Mount Hebron as a must-win situation.

However, with the Eagles' straight-sets loss last week to Glenelg the motivator, the No. 4 Eagles did realize the importance of improving.

And they did that yesterday while rebuffing the challenge of the upstart and host Vikings in three highly competitive games, 15-11, 16-14, 15-13.

"I don't think any match is a must-win match, but I don't care when we play, whether we win or lose; it's how we perform," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom, whose team improved to 2-1. All three matches were against Howard County opponents.

"The biggest disappointment against Glenelg was that we didn't pass very well [and] we didn't serve very well," he said. "We fixed most of those mistakes."

Bossom was particularly pleased with his team's performance from the service line. Junior Olivia Kelly was 18-for-18 on the serve; senior Molly Reitz was 15-for-16 and junior Leanna Kelly was 16-for-17.

"This was basically to show that we're a better team than what we showed at Glenelg," said Reitz, who missed the match against the Gladiators with a shoulder injury. She needs surgery on the shoulder but has decided to postpone it until after the season. "There's still room for improvement, but we played a lot better."

The Vikings, with new coach Michael Moynihan and a senior-laden lineup, had the marking of an improved team. They opened with a non-league win over third-ranked Broadneck in four sets, perhaps an announcement that they were ready to challenge the likes of Glenelg, River Hill and Centennial for the Howard County title as early as this year.

Thanks to solid defense and the all-round play of Carroll (22 assists), Mount Hebron (2-1) had its chances in each game yesterday. In Game 1, the Vikings led 5-1 until Leanna Kelly served for seven straight points.

Mount Hebron cut Centennial's advantage to 11-9 before the Eagles closed the first game with another Leanna Kelly service winner, a block from senior outside hitter Kate Feldmann (four kills, six digs), a kill from junior middle hitter Oye Imoisili and a Vikings hitting error on game point.

Moynihan was particularly frustrated in the second game. He saw the Vikings save five match points before Centennial's Margot Phelan ended the game with a kill.

"There's this sort of stigma about them," Moynihan said. "We haven't beaten them. ... It's two points each game, and we would've won. It's frustrating."

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