Going into Tuesday night’s game, it was to be expected that the Titans would have a fight on their hand against a strong Centennial team.
That fight, however, ended up being a beat a lopsided affair as the Titans (19-9, 4-1) came right out of the gates and KOed the Eagles (19-9, 5-4) in a 25-14, 25-14, 25-13 sweep in the regional final.
The win was a huge one for the Titans, as it pushes them on through to the state semifinals against West Orange (27-0, 6-0) on Saturday.
“Being able to go to a state semifinal is a really great honor for our girls and for our program,” said head coach Mitchell Sadowsky after the game. “We’ve been close three other times, and to see this group get past that hump – I’m just really, really proud of the girls and the work they have put in.”
Led by one of Sadowsky’s most experienced team, the Titans went off early in the first set as they went up 9-1 before the Eagles even knew what hit them. The Eagles would get within seven, before the Titans would go on a nice run.
The second set was the only that saw the Eagles hold any type of lead – going up 5-3 early in the set.
Just as soon as the Eagles managed their one lead, the Titans tied the game right back at 5-5, before going on a five-point run to make it 10-5. The Titans wouldn’t look back as they took a dominating 15-9 run to end the set.
“To see us come out and pretty much flawlessly execute our game plan and play that well in a high pressure match – I couldn’t be prouder of our group,” Sadowsky said.
Between the second and third set, it was easy to see how relaxed the Titans were as most of the team sung and danced along to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” – that energy fed right into the third set as the Titans jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead.
The lead would quickly balloon to 23-9, before the Titans would finally finish off the Eagles 25-13 to complete the sweep.
It was a huge win for the program, but it’s not over yet for the Titans, as the Warriors of West Orange wait in the wings in the state semifinals.
“We have three days and we are going to have our hands full,” Sadowsky said. “But I think with the right three days of prep and the right game plan and execution – (it’s the) state semifinals – we just have to go out and play hard.”