Centennial bounces Glenelg for crown

No. 1 Eagles repeat as Howard County champions


High schools


After losing a 27-25 decision to Glenelg in Game 2 of the Howard County volleyball championship match last night at Centennial to even the score at 1-1, the host Eagles took to the court in Game 3 with the confidence of a champion.

You couldn't tell by watching the smiling and relaxed Eagles that they had just lost a tough game that included 15 ties, but Centennial won Game 3, 25-21, and then took the 2005 county title by rolling, 25-14, in Game 4.

"We could have easily given up right after the second game, but we have confidence in our abilities and we just pushed really hard and kept the pressure on them," said senior hitter and tri-captain Allison Cappelaere who had seven kills, five aces and 10 digs.

"We believe in ourselves and knew we could do it. We just never give up."

The No. 1 Eagles, who hit well behind Cappelaere, junior Michelle Grosso (match-high 15 kills) and senior Sarah Gregorini (10 kills, five aces), took the first game, 25-19, and the 3-1 win gave them their second straight Howard County title and 14th overall.

"We talked about being in a spot emotionally, not too high, not too low," Eagles coach Mike Bossom said.

"We never went to a panic mode and we lost a game and we realized that it was a tight game and that we made mistakes. I didn't say a whole lot to them after the loss. This team has been there before. We work on situations like that in practice where we're tied. They came out in Game 3 and went on a nice run."

It was also the second win in three matches by the Eagles (15-1) over the No. 3 Gladiators (13-3) this season. The teams split in the regular season, with each winning on its home court in five games.

"Centennial really played strong," said Glenelg coach Don Beall, whose Gladiators had won the county title two years in a row before losing to the Eagles last year.

"They hit the ball. They swung free and kept us disorganized. We over-passed too much and gave them free lunch up there on the net."

The Gladiators got good efforts from Brooke Winterling, Julie Hollrah and Alison and Dana Gittings.

Gregorini will remember the victory as a personal redemption. Her three-year varsity career started with a poor effort against Glenelg in 2003.

"I have never played well against Glenelg," said Gregorini, who had a match-high 15 digs and was 17-for-17 serving.

"My first game I ever played as a sophomore, they threw me in against Glenelg and I've had trouble with them since. It became psychological, so this was personal for me."


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