CHAMPAIGN — Centennial moved into first place in the Big 12, holding off rival Champaign Central 25-15, 23-25, 25-22 in front of a raucous crowd Tuesday night at Combes Gym.
It was the Maroons’ first conference loss in the teams’ only regular season meeting.
“It’s a pretty big win,” Centennial coach Stan Bergman said. “We knew we had to win if we wanted to stay in the Big 12 hunt. Ultimately, it’s nice to say you’re part of that elite group, but realistically there are bigger situations down the road in the postseason.”
The Chargers, trying to win their second consecutive Big 12 title, have two league matches left. If they beat Eisenhower and league co-leading Normal West, they will do no worse than tie for the championship.
“It’s exciting,” Bergman said. “It’s a pretty even conference this year.”
Lauren Cloyd had nine kills and five blocks to spark Centennial. Rachel Jones had eight kills and five blocks, Kara Johnson had nine kills and Maddie Weldon had 12 assists.
“Both teams played great,” Central coach Evan Hook said. “We fought to the end, we showed great character and we never gave up.”
Maddie LeGrande had 15 kills for the Maroons, and Jaelyn Westfield added 10. Mia McDonald had 24 assists.