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Glenelg upsets No. 1 Centennial No. 6 team triumphs in five-set match

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Glenelg's volleyball team did something yesterday no county team has done since 1990.

It beat Centennial.

The No. 6 Gladiators, led by Elisa Davidson, upset the No. 1 Eagles, 10-15, 15-1, 3-15, 15-5, 15-11, before an enthusiastic crowd at Glenelg.

"It's a big confidence booster, especially with the playoffs starting on Friday," said Glenelg coach Marlene Janis, whose team lost to the Eagles earlier this month, 10-15, 15-8, 15-13, 15-13. "This shows a lot of growth emotionally and mentally, which is just what we needed."

Centennial (17-2 overall, 12-1 league), which can clinch its fifth straight county title tomorrow with a victory over winless Wilde Lake in the regular-season finale, did not go down without a fight.

The Eagles took a 3-1 lead in the fifth game only to watch the Gladiators (10-4, 9-4) run off nine straight points behind the serving of Pam Goldberg, Amber Rieg and Cara Franklin. Glenelg's advantage grew to 13-4 before Centennial, behind the xTC serves of sophomore Briana Zolak, won seven straight points to cut the Gladiators' lead to 13-11.

Zolak's eighth consecutive serve landed long, and Glenelg's Andrea Marks responded with two service winners to end the match.

"The only thing that messes us up is the serve receive," said Davidson.

Centennial, which made many uncharacteristic errors, was without senior outside hitter Jen West for most of the match. Eagles' coach Mike Bossom pulled West, an important part of the team, in the second game because she wasn't feeling well.

"This game meant a lot to us, but with the states coming up we want to make sure she's healthy," said Bossom, who added that West told him she could play. "It may not have been the right decision, but I stick with it."

"For once we finished it," said Franklin. "Normally [against Centennial] we win one [game] and then stop."

"This time we took it all the way," Janis said.

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