Centennial, Broadneck grab titles

Volleyball State Finals

November 18, 2008|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK - There was no time to be intimidated or awestruck when No. 4 Towson took the court in last night's Class 3A state championship against top-ranked Centennial, the most dominant volleyball program in the state.

The Generals pushed the Eagles, but in the end, Centennial was too strong and pulled out a 26-24, 25-18, 25-21 victory to claim the title at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum. It was the 14th time Centennial has reached the state final, and the Eagles have never lost in any of those matches.

"Towson came in here probably thinking no one expected them to win," Centennial coach Larry Schofield said. "I don't think we took that attitude. That was the best defensive effort we've seen all year. They came at us."

The Eagles' 14 state championships are the most of any team in the state, two more than Williamsport. Centennial (20-0) lost only two games the entire season.

Towson (17-3) was led by Julia Myers, who had 11 kills, and Amelia Thomas, who finished with 10. Myers and Thomas each had an ace. Samantha Brostrom led the Eagles with 11 kills and four aces.

"We know how to play good teams," Towson coach Emily Berman said. "We've played against really good teams all year and have done well. We changed things from those games to get better. And I think we got better. We just couldn't put it together today. They were on top of their game the entire match."

Towson dominated the early part of the third game and led 10-4, forcing Centennial to call a timeout. The Eagles then regrouped and dictated play the rest of the way and won the title by scoring three consecutive points to end Towson's late rally.

4A final

Each time third-ranked Broadneck needed a big play in last night's Class 4A state championship against Thomas Johnson, Kourtney Salvarola delivered a thunderous kill or a serve the Patriots could not handle.

The Bruins played steady most of the night en route to a 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-12 victory. Salvarola finished with 12 kills and 16 digs. It was the second consecutive state championship for Broadneck and fifth overall.

"We started off with simple goals," Salvarola said. "States was always on the back burner. Our first goal was counties, then regionals, and then states. Every time we come back here there is going to be nerves and jitters. I think knowing how the gym is and how loud it can get was an advantage for us."

Caroline Jacobs also had a big game for the Bruins (17-1), finishing with 12 kills, three aces and four blocks. Broadneck had eight blocks, compared with one for Thomas Johnson. The Patriots (16-3) were led by Megan Lynch, who had 13 kills, and Stacey Niehoff, who had 22 digs.

"It's a road that we traveled down before and I have to hand it to the ladies," Broadneck coach Scott Graf said. "They played together and they watch each other's back."

"We have to give credit to Broadneck. They played really, really well," Thomas Johnson coach Jim Dorsch said. "Their big hitters kept us under attack all night. That was probably the difference in the match."

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