Glenelg's Marisa Davidson did the work of two girls in last night's volleyball match with Centennial. Unfortunately for the Gladiators, she couldn't be in two places at once.
Davidson, a senior outside hitter, had a match-high 17 kills, but it wasn't enough to fuel an upset of No. 1 Centennial. The host and No. 4 Gladiators fell, 15-6, 15-10, 17-15, for their second loss to Centennial in 10 days.
The Gladiators (2-2 overall, 1-2 league) led in each game, but they couldn't hold on -- most of the time losing momentum when Davidson moved to the back row. That left Glenelg vulnerable at the net offensively and defensively.
"The thing that hurt us was depth," said Davidson, who was 25-for-30 hitting and had two point blocks.
"They just have more people who can really put the ball away."
Centennial's top two hitters, Carlyn Cangiano (eight kills, two point blocks) and Krisha Svehla (12 kills, four point blocks), powered the Eagles (3-0, 3-0) to their 46th straight match victory. The two-time state Class 3A champions haven't lost a match since 1990.
But the Eagles are always wary of Glenelg, especially since the Gladiators had taken them to four games in their last meeting on Sept. 14.
"They are one of our toughest competitions," said Cangiano, who plays on the same club team with Davidson.
"After they took a game from us in the last match, it fired us up. We wanted to beat them in three. We were down in every game and we came back and never gave up."
In a quick first game, the Gladiators took a 5-4 lead on a four-point run that included three Centennial mistakes and a nice cross-court kill from Kerry Rutter, who finished with six kills. But Glenelg couldn't hold the momentum, managing just one more point in the game.
The Gladiators took control early in the second game running up a 6-1 lead, with Davidson getting five kills in the run.
But again, the Gladiators couldn't hold off the Eagles' double-pronged attack.
Cangiano's jump serve helped pull the Eagles ahead 7-6. Svehla had the devastating hits to help finish off the game, several times pounding down a Glenelg pass that just made it over the net.
The third game proved a struggle for both teams as neither could hold the momentum for long. Glenelg led early and Centennial did not catch up until a 10-10 tie. They tied again at 12-12.
The Gladiators pulled ahead 15-14 when Cangiano spiked a ball wide, but couldn't put it away.
Centennial got the final three points, including a Cangiano ace, in two service rotations.
"I felt like that third game could have gone either way," said Glenelg coach Marlene Janis. "We got some tough breaks and Carly was serving, which is who he would want serving at a time like that."