Trisha Mockapetris is the only freshman on the roster for Centennial's volleyball team. You won't find her sitting on the bench, though. On Tuesday at Marriotts Ridge, she showed why.
The freshman served five aces and kept Severna Park's serve-receive off kilter all night to lead the second-ranked Eagles to a 25-21, 31-29, 25-22 win over the third-ranked Falcons in the inaugural District V championship. She also contributed five kills.
"Our serving was a big key to the game," Mockapetris said. "It was something they weren't used to, so it was really different for them."
Severna Park took an 8-0 lead in the first game, forcing Centennial coach Larry Schofield to call a timeout. After the break, the Eagles used Mockapetris' and libero Vicky Rain's serving to tie the score at 10.
With the Falcons trailing 18-17, Mockapetris served again and gave the Eagles a 20-19 lead. After Severna Park served once, Rain (11 digs) stepped to the line and ran off four more points - including an ace - to give Centennial a 24-21 lead. Centennial finished the game with a block by Liz Brown. The Falcons (13-2) battled back in the second game. They held a 21-19 lead before another timeout by Schofield. After the break, the Eagles (15-0) used kills by Michelle Klima (one of five) and Samantha Brostrom (one of seven) and an ace by Mockapetris to tie the score at 22. After the teams traded points, Severna Park had a golden opportunity to win the game. Up 29-28, the Falcons got a serving error from Megan Chalk to again tie the score. The Eagles took advantage and won the final two points to take the game, 31-29.
"We played flat tonight, and they didn't," Falcons coach Jamie Leventry said. "Normally, we put teams into bad position with our serves. Not tonight. We got tight and made a couple of errors at crucial times."
After falling behind 18-14, the Eagles rallied again in the third game. Centennial used kills by May Yang and Brown (five kills, 15 assists) and an ace by Kelsey Gibbons to finish out the game, 25-22.
"We came out a lot more fired up" after the first timeout, Brown said. "We had a lot more trust in one another, and we started talking more. We got into our groove, and we started playing our game. Everybody did their jobs."