It's a good bet that Glenelg's Briana Allen is a typical high school student whose alarm clock is not her friend on school days. Still, Allen is grateful for one wake-up call she and her Glenelg teammates got.
It paid off to help the 14th-ranked Gladiators defeat No. 6 Centennial in a key Howard County league volleyball match yesterday, 25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16.
"The loss to River Hill [three games to none at River Hill 10 days ago] was a real wake-up call for us," said Allen, a senior. "It taught us that, as talented as we are, we can't expect things to be given to us. This league is so good that you have to be at the top of your game every game."
Allen led Glenelg (6-2, 4-1) with 12 kills. Samantha Brostrom led the Eagles (4-3, 4-2) with 14 kills, while Liana Farb contributed eight kills.
The Gladiators scored 10 of the first 14 points in the match. Except for a brief stretch in the third game, they never let up.
"We hit better all around than they did, and I thought our middles did a better job than their middles," Gladiators coach Don Beall said. "I thought we won the serves, and our outside hitting won the match for us."
Centennial, the defending Class 3A state champion, never held a lead of more than six points in any game.
"We should have won the River Hill game," Glenelg senior Jen Harris said. "We've grown as a team, and I think we played that way today."
Centennial, behind senior Samantha Luo and junior Jackie Hawkins, rallied to take a 21-15 lead in the third game, but Glenelg used several serves by Casey Schmidt to cut the margin to 23-21. The Eagles took advantage of an errant hit down the line to hang on for a 25-22 win and gain some life, trailing two games to one.
Glenelg regrouped, though, running off 15 of the first 19 points to coast to a 25-16 win in the fourth game.
"Volleyball is all about momentum, and we really fought back [in the third game]," Beall said. "I think it says something about us that we were able to regain the momentum late in the game, and we almost pulled it out. It definitely carried over to the fourth game."
Even with all the success the Gladiators had on the day, Allen couldn't help but have one lamentation.
"I really expected this would go five games," Allen said. "Then we had a chance to finish them in three, and I'm a little disappointed that we didn't do it. When you look back, though, beating them is enough."
Digital Harbor 26, Walbrook 20 -- Quarterback Gary Brannon threw for one touchdown and ran for another to lead the Rams (3-1) over the host Warriors (2-1). Brannon tossed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jiggetts (four catches, 82 yards) in the second quarter. Brannon's 2-yard touchdown run later proved to be the winning margin.
City 10, Samuel Banks 2 -- Julian Pallillo scored four goals as the Knights (4-2) dominated the Lions yesterday. Sam Atkinson added a goal and two assists in the winning effort. City plays at Banks tomorrow.
Bel Air 2, C. Milton Wright 1 -- Joan Snyder and Brooke St. Martin each scored a goal to lead the Bobcats over the host Mustangs. Alex Kaputsos and Snyder had assists. Goalie Kaci Starkloff stopped 10 shots for Bel Air.