Centennial‘s sixth-ranked volleyball team had revenge on its mind Thursday night when it took the court against No. 9 Glenelg. The Eagles were looking for redemption after a tough loss against the Gladiators last season, and they got it.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game for awhile, and we wanted to get revenge on them because they didn’t deserve the win last year,” junior Kristen Ritchie said after her team’s 25-14, 25-16, 25-21 win. “It feels awesome. I think we definitely deserved it.”
The Eagles (3-0) were dominant early, putting Glenelg (3-1) in an early hole with a 6-0 run to open the first set and never trailing in either of the first two sets. Glenelg didn’t help itself early on, committing eight errors in the first set and six in the second. Ritchie and senior Trisha Mockapetris each had three kills in the first set.
Glenelg came alive in the third set, though, taking its first lead of the game at 8-7 and holding it for much of the match’s final set until Centennial junior Katie Havlik tied the set at 21 with a kill and served on the subsequent four-point rally to seal the victory.
“I call it bend, not break. We bend, they’re pushing, they’re pushing, they’re pushing, and then we snap back,” Centennial Coach Larry Schofield said. “In the end we were able to piece points together, which we couldn’t do the whole time because they kept siding out. I like to get runs. You win the small runs and you’re going to win the match. That’s why we were playing catch-up the whole time because they wouldn’t let us get runs.”
Ritchie and sophomore Meghan Kelly led the way offensively for Centennial with eight and seven kills, respectively, but it was the Eagles’ defense that drew the praise of both coaches following the game. Ritchie had 12 digs, one shy of Mockapetris’s team-leading 13. Junior libero Cara Walsh had 11 digs.
Seniors Morgan Mazer and Camryn Jollata each had six kills to lead the Gladiators. Junior Molly Calvert finished with four kills and a block.
The three-set sweep improved Centennial’s set record to 9-0 and provided a tough early-season test for the Eagles. Glenelg came into the game on the heels of a 3-2 win over then-undefeated River Hill, and Schofield said he was happy his team managed to escape a similar fate.
“They came back on River Hill. So I know they were strong, and you saw they kept coming back,” Schofield said. “Another two sets and who knows what would have happened, because they just kept getting stronger and stronger. So if we can keep them off-balance like that we’re in good shape. But I don’t want to see them again.”