Century volleyball continued its strong start to the season with a 3-1 win at Dulaney, as last year’s Class 2A state runner-up moves to 2-0 under first-year coach Sarah Walton.
Walton described the game as being about “coming together as a team,” and her words showed in the Knights’ strong positioning throughout.
Dulaney, though, got off to the quick start, leading 9-3 in the first set. But Century gained momentum off a 4-0 run and controlled the second half, winning 25-22. The second set was a similar story, as the teams traded the opening points. But after a strong counter on a spike by Sierra Plummer made the score 6-5 in its favor, Century never trailed and won, 25-21.
Walton called senior Jasmine Stanton “phenomenal” during the opening sets. Stanton inspired her team by dishing out leaping spikes and strong serves.
The Knights were the ones to build an opening lead in Set 3, and led by as many as six, 17-11, before Dulaney went on a six-point run. The teams alternated points until tying at 22. Tension filled the gym as Century was three points away from closing out the match. Instead, it was the host Lions successfully closing out a comeback, winning the first of three straight points by a diving save from Ally Reed and the final two through a solid team offensive effort.
On the final point, a last-chance volley by Century’s Stanton hit the ceiling and the Lions finally had a chance to roar.
But the good momentum couldn’t sustain Dulaney through the fourth set. Dulaney gained a brief 7-6 lead and tied the score at 13 through four consecutive points, but more strong plays and saves from Century gave the Knights a cushion through the end. They cruised toward a final score of 25-22, closing out the match.
Plummer led Century’s offense with 10 kills. Uchechi Mba was right behind here with nine in addition to four blocks. Vanessa Gude had 22 digs and six aces, while Stanton had 16 digs and six kills. Alyssa Hoffman set up the offense with 31 assists.
Dulaney’s coach explained their third-game success as coming from good serves and 14 kills, including six from Reed, but attributed the overall loss to the team’s inconsistencies.