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Howard volleyball sweeps Centennial to set up showdown at Glenelg

Howard senior setter Hanna Webster led her team to a 3-0 sweep of Centennial on Tuesday night.
Howard senior setter Hanna Webster led her team to a 3-0 sweep of Centennial on Tuesday night. (File photo by James Levin)

ELLICOTT CITY, MD — The Howard volleyball team has its biggest match of the season on Thursday night at Glenelg. But before the defending county champion Lions could get to Thursday, they had to get through Tuesday, and they did so in convincing fashion.

Howard (9-1) swept visiting rival Centennial (7-3) Tuesday night, 3-0.

"My girls have confidence," said coach Grant Scott, whose team fell behind 7-0 in the first set but recovered to tie it 10-10 and never looked back. "At that point we knew that if we played our game we could win."

Senior Dasha Johnson had a career night, piling up 14 kills.

"Last year we were probably the strongest team in the county, but this year my team is good, too," Johnson said. "The sophomores and juniors have really stepped up and played to the level that we did last year … winning games hasn't been as much of a challenge as we thought it would be."

Howard's returning first-team all-county setter Hanna Webster used all of her weapons on offense, including senior Janie Kalinock (6 kills, 5 blocks) and sophomore Sarah Sweet (6 kills, 4 aces).

"Being able to let everybody get involved really makes a difference," Scott said. "We've got kids who can get a kill when we need to … (Webster) knew to feed Dasha tonight. She knew to mix in some right side and middle to leave (Johnson) open. But she knew who her hot hitter was and she made sure that she adjusted and gave her the ball where she could put it away."

The Eagles were led by seniors Meghan Kelley and Chloe Atram.

"We need to fix our side of the net," coach Mike Bossom said. "We have to finish strong and figure out who we are. We haven't figured that out yet."

With Centennial out of the way, Scott can now focus on the task at hand as he prepares for a rematch of last year's county title tilt.

"Now I'm going to get my scouting report and start looking at what they've got. I know they have a phenomenal team," said Scott, whose team defeated Glenelg (9-1) in five sets last October. "It's the end of the year, we're both primed, we're both aggressive. It's their senior night. It's going to be fun. Someone's going to walk out happy and someone sad, but I just hope it's good volleyball."

Around the league

Glenelg 3, Marriotts Ridge 0

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The Gladiators swept a tough Mustangs team, 25-18, 25-22, 25-13.

Sarah Girard (17 kills, 16 digs, 7 aces) and Rachael Girard (31 assists, 10 digs) had a big night, while Kara Crawford added eight kills and Kristen Thesing had 12 digs.

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Mt. Hebron 3, Atholton 1

The Vikings won 16-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-17.

For Atholton, Olivia Na (17) and Gaby Lagomarsino (11) combined for 28 assists, Madison Lim led the team with 20 digs, and Julia Skibniewska (13 kills, 9 digs) and Sam Miller (7 kills) led the attack.

Oakland Mills 3, Long Reach 2

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The Scorpions won their first match of the season, outlasting Long Reach in the fifth set.

River Hill 3, Reservoir 2

The Hawks won a hardfought battle, 25-18, 10-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12.

Wilde Lake 3, Hammond 0

Thursday, Oct. 16 schedule

Atholton at Centennial

Hammond at Reservoir

Howard at Glenelg

Marriotts Ridge at Mt. Hebron

River Hill at Oakland Mills

Long Reach at Wilde Lake (Wednesday, Oct. 15)

League standings (as of Oct. 14)

Glenelg, 9-1

Howard, 9-1

Centennial, 7-3

Mt. Hebron, 7-3

Wilde Lake, 7-3

Reservoir, 6-4

Marriotts Ridge, 5-5

River Hill, 4-6

Hammond, 3-7

Atholton, 2-8

Oakland Mills, 1-9

Long Reach, 0-10

Chapelgate, 5-1 (IAAM B Conference)

Glenelg Country 3-2 (IAAM C Conference)

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