WASHINGTON — Volleyball is not about how many points are scored. It’s about when the points are scored. Centennial’s Chargers discovered that fact Saturday in a three-set Class 3A super-sectional loss to LaSalle-Peru.
Thanks to a dominating 25-16 first-set win, the Chargers wound up scoring the most points for the night (69-66), but LaSalle-Peru rallied to win the final two sets 25-23, 25-21 to secure a berth at state.
“We had a great first set,” Centennial coach Stan Bergman said. “We couldn’t have put together a better set. We made them play our way.”
The Cavaliers regrouped quickly.
“I don’t know if we took it for granted or LaSalle stepped up their game and did what they needed to work their way back into the match,” Bergman said. “We were right there. One less missed serve or one less something else and we could have been done and out of there in two sets.”
Instead, L-P (34-3) took the momentum into the tiebreaking set and pulled away after Centennial (31-9) stayed even through 16 points.
“(Saturday night), it would have almost been better to lose the first set and have that momentum and win the next two,” Bergman said. “These girls wanted to show that Centennial volleyball is still alive and for real, and they did that.”
Ayla Dew’s 17 kills led Centennial. Miaya Peacock had nine. Lexi Hall and Jaime Johnson had 15 and 13 assists, respectively. Kelly Braghini had four kills and four blocks. Jordin Hopkins had eight digs.
At Mount Pulaski
West Prairie 2, Schlarman 0. They got better as the match went on, but the Hilltoppers were unable to continue their best season in school history, losing 25-11, 25-21 in a Class 1A super-sectional. Schlarman, which trailed 8-1 in the opening set, led 21-20 in the second.
Laura Gross had seven kills, four assists and three blocks for the 31-5 Hilltoppers. Jordan Marganski had eight assists, Shelby Mascari six digs and Janelle Marion five kills.