Samatha Brostrom and Liz Brown were on familiar terrority Monday evening, playing on the court inside Ritchie Coliseum for the Class 3A state semifinals. Though the Centennial High duo have tasted the fruits of a state championship, this latest trip has greater significance.

“It feels more like this is ours states,” said Brown, who was a sophomore on the Eagles’ 2008 title squad. “We both want it so bad, and so does the rest of the team.”

It’s down to one game for the top-ranked Eagles, who swept Montgomery County’s Blake, 25-18, 25-10 and 25-14. Centennial will play No. 3 Towson for the state championship, Friday night at 8 p.m. in College Park.

Brostrom had nine kills and nine aces for Centennial (20-2 overall), and Brown added seven kills. Meagan Lagerlef led Blake (12-6) with nine kills.

The Eagles weren’t seriously threatened as the Howard County school itched closer to its 15th state title. They earned their state semifinal trip Friday with a victory over rival River Hill in a five-set marathon.

“I watch video of it every day,” said Brostrom. “I used that energy and intensity and put it into every game.”

“Centennial volleyball is good at what they do,” said sophomore hitter Trisha Mockapetris.

The Eagles imposed their size and skill against Blake Monday, pulling away from 14-14 tie with an 11-3 run to take the opening set. They raced out to a 10-3 advantage in the second set before a kill by Mockapetris pushed it to double digits.

liz brown, samatha brostrom, trisha mockapetrisWhile Centennial played in its 17th state semifinal Monday, it was the first for Blake. Bengals coach Nicole Shields knew the Eagles had the edge in experience.

“We couldn’t pass the ball,” said Blake coach Nicole Shields. “Once we did we were able to get some plays going, but they didn’t happen often enough.”

“We played good enough. Good enough, however, isn’t good enough at our level,” said Eagles coach Larry Schofield. “We need to play better.”

After a huge emotional win Friday, Centennial knows it won’t matter if they don’t beat Towson Friday. The Eagles haven’t lost in a state title game.

“We need to finish the job,” said Brown.