In a match that was consistently inconsistent, top-ranked Centennial managed fewer mistakes then fifth-ranked Mount Hebron last night for a 15-9, 15-7, 7-15, 15-7 victory at Centennial.
"We'll take it," said Centennial coach Mike Bossom. "I'm always pleased with a win, but I feel we haven't yet played Centennial volleyball. We haven't played the way we have shown we can play in bits and spots."
Centennial senior outside hitter Kim Emrich agreed.
"We didn't play to our potential," Emrich said. "The offense was in slow motion. There was a lack of communication."
The Eagles (1-1 overall, 1-0 league) didn't need to play their best at the start because, for the second straight match, Mount Hebron was a step behind.
In Monday's 3-0 loss to No. 4 River Hill, the Vikings dropped the first 12 points of the match and never recovered. They fell behind 8-2 in the first game and 12-1 in the second before brief rallies made the scores more respectable.
"The first two games we dug ourselves a hole and you can't do that against a good team like Centennial," said Mount Hebron senior middle hitter Julie Kurtzman. "It seems like it's one server that gets us and we can't side out."
Said Mount Hebron senior setter/hitter Jacque Armstead: "We gave too many points away on our serve receive."
Mount Hebron first-year coach Betty Golibart said her team's slow start was due to "nerves."
"Playing River Hill and Centennial to open the season is not easy," Golibart said. "We adjusted much better today then we did against River Hill, and there was more cohesion.
"We need to continue to work on our movement, communication and attitude, because they get down very quickly. They know they're not doing well and it's hard for them to pull back up. But if we get our heads into the game, the physical stuff will come."
Bossom had his seniors on the bench for most of the third game to give his underclassmen playing time. Mount Hebron broke a 7-7 tie and closed out the game by winning the last eight points.
In the final game, Centennial used a six-point run to break a 4-4 tie. The Vikings closed to 10-7, but the Eagles ran off final five points.
"We have the ability to play better," Bossom said.
The same holds true for Mount Hebron.
Wilde Lake, which was winless in the league last season, won its season-opener last night against visiting Howard, 15-4, 15-13, 15-9.
Lindsay Smardon led the Wildecats with 11 kills and setter Nicole Kellogg had 19 assists. Cathy James contributed five kills.
"I was very proud of them. They played hard," said Wilde Lake coach Regan Hall. "They did what I asked them to do. They kept their intensity throughout the match."
Pub Date: 9/16/99