It was at some point in the second game of Centennial's volleyball match at Frontier on Tuesday that Golden Hawks assistant Penny Roberts noticed something.
Brooke Roberts, Centennial's head coach, agreed: The Golden Hawks were growing up before their eyes.
"Penny said, 'These girls are becoming problem-solvers,'" Brooke Roberts said. "They were finding a way to keep balls in play until they could terminate play. It took a while sometimes, but we won some really long rallies."
Those points were key in Centennial's 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 sweep of Frontier in both teams' Southwest Yosemite League opener.
The most notable of those points came at 24-24 in the third set, after the Golden Hawks had erased what had been a 19-12 deficit.
After several spectacular digs and point-saving passes on both sides, Abby Campbell found the floor and gave the Hawks a 25-24 lead.
A Frontier error on the next point completed the Game 3 comeback and the sweep.
"We never say die," Campbell said. "We always say that to each other. It doesn't matter how many points you're down. You can always come back."
Campbell had 16 kills and 10 digs for the Golden Hawks (10-4, 1-0), who have won 20 of 21 SWYL games since the league added Liberty and Bakersfield and became the "power league" in 2010.
"We all know every match is equally important," Roberts said. "But getting a good head start is more fun, more enjoyable."
McKenna Painton had 15 kills and 11 digs, Tori Smith made 39 assists and Maddie Black had 15 digs for the Golden Hawks, who were able to silence a big and loud Frontier crowd for most of the night.
"You have new clientele every year, but these kids really do seem to play well in crazy environments," Roberts said. "They were very composed, and I'm very proud of that."
Of course, many of the Centennial players have the experience of playing in the past two Central Section Division I championships.
"That helps a lot," Campbell said. "Just with pressure and atmosphere, that helps a lot."
It also leaves teams like Frontier (20-5, 0-1) still chasing the same old Golden Hawks.
"That was the story of all three games: 'We were good at times,'" Titans coach Amy Parker said. "We waited a little bit too long to start taking care of the ball on our side of the net. Centennial did a good job forcing us out of our system."
Frontier's Krista Rymer, who last week became the all-time kills leader in the program's brief history, had 16 of them, plus 10 digs. Hannah Henriksen added 13 kills and Sarah Harvey had 12 digs.