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No. 1 Centennial makes its point Eagles claw back, beat Hebron in four sets


They were down 10-0 in the first game, and won.

They were down 11-5 in the third game, and won.

They were down 12-5 in the fourth game, and won.

Guess that's what being No. 1 is all about.

Centennial's volleyball team won another four-game thriller against No. 4 Mount Hebron, 15-13, 13-15, 15-12, 15-13, last night at Centennial. For the second time this season, the Vikings (8-2 overall, 7-2 league) did everything but finish off the class 3A defending state champion Eagles (14-1, 9-0) when they had the opportunity.

"Again we had our chances," said Mount Hebron coach Henry Dahlan, whose team lost last month to Centennial, 6-15, 15-13, 17-15, 15-9. "We had big leads in three games and we couldn't hold them. We had spells in those games when we got a little sloppy and they took advantage of it.

"Centennial took those games away from us. It never quit. It's very frustrating to have an opportunity and not deliver."

With Mount Hebron clinging to a 13-10 lead in the fourth game, Centennial forced a side out and brought in two new players, sophomore Suzy McCulloch and freshman Lisa Chapman. A freshman, Chapman was called up from the junior varsity a few weeks ago.

Suddenly, Chapman found herself serving.

"He [coach Mike Bossom] couldn't put Jen Klimm in anymore so he put me in," Chapman said. "I was scared to death. It was a crucial point and I was just hoping to get it in. I wasn't planning an ace."

Maybe she was planning three aces, because that's what she delivered. Just like that, the game was tied at 13.

Sylvia Kaltreider's dink for a winner ended Chapman's run and gave the serve back to Mount Hebron. But Kerri Quinn's miss hit gave possession back to the Eagles and Heather Tolkach served out for the match.

"It's really, really frustrating," said Quinn. "We've done it before. We can't pull it out at the end."

Said Centennial's Meredith Price: "I'm really proud of our team for digging deep and coming through when it needed to. This is such a big rivalry. Both teams wanted to win so bad."

And there's a good chance the teams will meet for a third time in the class 3A regional playoffs as they did a year ago.

"I will bet money we see them again," said Bossom, who said his deeper bench and his players "raising up a half step" were vital in rallying to win.

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