Volleyball: District V and City championships
Rather than vie for individual county championships, Howard and Anne Arundel counties decided their regular season winners would play each other in the inaugural District V championship this season. In the last playoff tune-up for both teams, Centennial swept Severna Park, 25-21, 31-29, 25-22, Tuesday night at Marriotts Ridge.
The match hardly started off like a show of strength between teams that are the top seeds in their Maryland region playoff brackets. Severna Park (14-2) jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first game. Centennial committed unforced errors and looked tense in just their second game with a new lineup and rotation.
But when the Eagles (15-1) tied the set at 10, aided by points from middle blockers Sarah Hall and May Yang and outside hitter Michelle Klima, the Falcons realized they were in for a fight.
“It started to set in that this isn’t going to be easy,” said Severna Park outside hitter Christi Laite, who finished with 10 kills. “They’re not just another team that’s going to roll over. We let them catch up to us and then we started playing scared, we’re not going to win playing scared.”
Centennial clinched the first game 25-21 on a kill by Samantha Brostrom and then turned into a back-and-forth affair worthy of the two county champions in the second. Neither team could gain much of an advantage, the Eagles’ offense trading points with Severna Park’s Laite and outside hitter Tempe Martens from when the teams were tied at 18 until a 31-29 Centennial win.
Key for the Eagles throughout the entire match was their serve receive and serve placement. Paced by the efforts of Kelsey Gibbons and Vicky Rain, Centennial committed just two serve-receive errors and recorded 12 aces, led by freshman Trisha Mockapetris with five.
There were many changes on display for Centennial though, as the Eagles have opted to stick with a new lineup rotation that they used late against Marriotts Ridge on Oct. 29 to capture a 25-22, 24-26, 22-25, 25-7, 15-9 win. Among the adjustments: hitter Liz Brown is now setting and Mockapetris is serving and playing a more significant back-court role.
"It's a little different having Liz come in and set," Mockapetris said. "She plays all around and has a court sense that's good. As a hitter she knows, 'Oh I'd want the ball here,' so she can guess where we might want the ball. We're all talking a lot right now and seem to be getting comfortable."
Centennial and Severna Park, the top seeds in the 3A West and 4A East respectively, both earned first round byes and now await their region quarterfinal matches on Monday. The Eagles will face the winner of the Atholton (8-6) - Howard (10-4) match while the Falcons will host either North County (4-10) or Glen Burnie (4-9). Unfortunately for Severna Park it will have to contend in the post season without starting libero Carli Converse, who is out with mononucleosis.
On Monday, Flint Hill captured its first City Championship with a 3-1 win over two-time defending champ Good Counsel, 15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-19.
A lot of attention is paid toward the Huskies' two powerful offensive forces, outside hitter Marilyn Peizer and outside hitter/setter Tori Janowski, but in this match it was a Flint Hill defensive stand that proved to be the difference. Led by junior libero Jess Fellows (12 digs), the Huskies responded to a lackadaisical effort in the first set to knock off the Falcons for the second time this season.
**A note about the weekly top-10: With Virginia in postseason play and Maryland's playoffs set to begin on Friday, the weekly rankings are on a brief hiatus but will return at the end of the season for the year's final top-10. We'll have complete coverage of both state's playoffs here and on PrepsPost Virginia.
November 4, 2009; 10:23 AM ET
Categories: Centennial , Flint Hill , Good Counsel , Severna Park , Volleyball
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