Centennial turns it on, wins another 3A crown


High Schools


COLLEGE PARK -- Senior hitter Sarah Gregorini said, "Centennial prides itself in its depth," and it showed last night in more ways than one at Ritchie Coliseum as the top-ranked Eagles swept second-year Huntingtown of Calvert County, 25-14, 25-22, 25-21, to repeat as Class 3A state volleyball champions.

Centennial (19-1) showed deep scoring ability, a deep defense and even got a spark from a recent JV call-up in the third game to further a program that has gone deeper with its coach, Mike Bossom, than any other in state history.

It was the school's state-record 12th title and the eighth under Bossom, the most by any coach in the 30 years of the Maryland tournament.

"We really wanted to repeat," said Gregorini, who led the Eagles with 10 kills, six aces and 14 digs. "We came out focused on our goal, which was to win another state title, and we stepped up. It's definitely a dream come true."

The Eagles came out firing and stuck it to the Hurricanes (16-3), who were "nervous going against a team that has been there before and had 11 state titles," said their coach, Cheryl Lord.

Gregorini and junior Michelle Grosso, who finished with nine kills, combined for nine kills as the Eagles led all the way in the first game. Senior setter Jen Feldmann constantly set up the big hitters and finished with 16 assists and four digs.

Allison Cappelaere chipped in five kills, two aces and five digs.

Huntingtown played much better in the second game as Jessica Gaetano, who had eight kills and 16 digs in the match, asserted herself. The score was tied seven times, including at 17 through 21, before Centennial got it together and Gregorini aced the last point for the 25-22 win.

"I told the girls before the match that if they played great defense, they would make it happen and our defense carried us through the last two games," said Bossom, who finished his 12th season and has led the Eagles to 39-1 record the past two seasons.

The Hurricanes led most of the third game before Bossom inserted JV sophomore callup Samantha Luo for the first time. Luo responded by serving eight straight points as the Eagles overcame an 18-13 deficit, took the lead for good at 19-18 and closed it out on the ninth kill by Tehya Mockapetris.

"I love Samantha so much," Grosso said. "She played like she'd been there all year."


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