Centennial rallies past Catonsville in 3A semis

College Park — College Park -- Michelle Grosso caught fire in the last two games as defending state champion Centennial survived a five-game match against No. 14 Catonsville in the Class 3A state semifinals at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum last night.

The underdog Comets won the first two games by scores of 25-22 and 25-21 before the third-ranked Eagles came back to win the last three games by 25-17, 25-23 and 15-6.


Centennial, under first-year coach Jerry Hulla, will play Huntingtown for the 3A state title at 3 p.m. Saturday at Comcast Center. Centennial will be going after a record 13th state championship.

Huntingtown, a 3-year-old school in Charles County, swept Montgomery's Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 25-16, 25-10, 25-14, in the night's first semifinal. The Barons (13-5) were no match for the Hurricanes (18-0), who were led by 6-foot outside hitter and West Virginia-bound Andrea Miller.


Grosso, an All-Metro hitter as a junior, scored five of the last nine points on two aces and three kills in Game 4 to force the fifth game. The fourth game ended on a hitting error by the Comets, who were led by Lija Glemza.

Glemza had three of her 19 kills, which tied Grosso for the match high, in the crucial fourth game, where the Comets came up short.

Centennial jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the fifth game behind Grosso, who had four kills, and Kasey Quinn, who had two aces. Grosso's fourth kill gave the Eagles an 11-3 lead. Tehya Mockapetris had a crucial kill that gave the Eagles a 12-4 lead that the Comets were unable to overcome.

In the first game, Glemza's fifth kill gave the Comets a 24-22 lead and set up the final point, scored on a return error. Centennial had taken a 6-0 lead with Mockapetris serving.