Unbeaten Centennial ends 3-year Glenelg hex

3rd-ranked Eagles sweep to control in Howard

Atholton stops Reservoir

Volleyball

High Schools

September 28, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

After last night's match against Glenelg, a few members of the Centennial volleyball team flexed their muscles before some parents with cameras.

The gesture proved symbolic, as the No. 3 Eagles powered their way to a 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 victory over the No. 5 Gladiators at Glenelg.

The win placed Centennial - which raised its record to 5-0 overall and in Howard County - squarely in the driver's seat for a berth in the county championship match on Nov. 3.

After upending No. 8 Reservoir last night, No. 15 Atholton is the only other undefeated team in the county.

"We hadn't beaten Glenelg in the past two or three years," senior outside hitter Margot Phelan said as the Eagles ended a six-match losing streak to the Gladiators that dated back to 2001. "Today was an opportunity to prove to ourselves and the other teams in the county that we have what it takes to be a winning team."

Added senior outside hitter Alana Eller, who posted a match-high 11 kills: "This is part of getting to where we want to be."

Glenelg opened last night's meeting with a 6-1 burst in the first game. But Centennial stayed collected and battled back to eventually take a 16-14 lead.

After the Gladiators grabbed the next four points for a two-point edge, the Eagles won nine of the final 13 points to close out the first game.

Centennial sprinted to a 12-3 lead in the second game and never looked back.

Worried about asking some reserves to play in an away match with little warm-up time, Eagles coach Michael Bossom kept his starters in for the third game.

The players responded by breaking open a 10-10 tie with a 15-8 run to seal the victory.

Phelan recorded 10 kills and two blocks, and junior setter Jennifer Feldmann contributed 29 assists for Centennial.

Senior outside hitter Rebecca Tursell paced Glenelg (4-1, 4-1) with seven kills and two blocks, but coach Don Beall was quick to credit the Eagles' defense.

"I thought we played well, but they got to a lot of balls that normally would've gone down," he said. "They're a scrappy team, and I hope we get the opportunity to play them again."

No. 15 Atholton 3, No. 8 Reservoir 1: Junior middle hitter Stephanie Sharp registered 13 kills to propel the host Raiders to a 25-27, 25-11, 28-26, 27-25 victory over the Gators.

Junior outside hitter Nicole Massarelli chipped in with 10 kills, and junior setter Kristen Kozielski had 36 assists for Atholton (3-1, 3-0).

"They kept picking up everything we threw at them, and we came right back at them," said Raiders coach Bruce Lindblad, whose squad won its first three county games for the first time since 1996. "We had a lot of perseverance, and we didn't give up."

After opening the season with four straight victories, Reservoir (4-2, 3-2) has dropped two consecutive matches.

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