Ladies Send Bekelja Out in Style with 3-0 Win over UMKC
Saturday, October 27, 2007

SHREVEPORT—Centenary senior Lindsay Bekelja could not have hoped for a better going out gift than a convincing Summit League win in the final home match of her career. That is exactly what happened on Saturday evening in the Gold Dome as the Ladies volleyball team recorded its first conference victory of the season by overpowering UMKC 3-0 (30-23, 30-23, 30-22).


Centenary (2-24, 1-11 Summit) rallied early after an emotional senior day presentation honoring Bekelja. The Ladies, determined to send Bekelja out with a win, wasted no time in jumping out to a 4-1 lead on kills by Stephanie Hobaugh, Elise Sisson, and Danielle Bochat.


Centenary extended its advantage to seven at 14-7 and shortly after moved ahead by 10 at 19-9 on an emphatic kill from Rebekah Hill. With the Maroon and White on top at 27-19, Bekelja hooked up with Ashlee Freeman, who closed out the game with three kills.


The combination of Bekelja to Freeman would prove unstoppable in the second and third games of the match. Trailing 14-7 in game two, Freeman stopped UMKC’s run with another kill. Minutes later, three consecutive hitting errors by the Kangaroos allowed the Ladies to inch within three points.


A kill by Freeman brought the score to 19-17 and another UMKC miscue forced a Kangaroo timeout at 19-18. Freeman then responded with three consecutive kills to give the Ladies their first lead at 22-19, but the Centenary run would not end there. The Ladies continued to push for points and ended the game on an 18-5 run for the 30-23 win.


With the momentum on their side, game three was all Centenary. The Ladies raced out to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. Freeman continued to have the hot hand as the junior powered down kills and mixed in several tips to open spots in the UMKC defense. Centenary led by as much as nine in the contest and easily won 30-22.


Freeman matched her career-high with 20 kills in only three games. Her other 20-kill performance came in a five-game win against Mississippi Valley State earlier this season. She also recorded a career-high hitting percentage as she collected her kills at a .654 clip.


Bekelja was superb in her final home match, dishing out 38 assists to go with nine digs. Freshman Elise Sisson was outstanding in the back row with 10 digs and Hill led the Ladies with six total blocks. Centenary hit .271 (44-15-107) on the night as an offense and tallied 10.5 blocks at the net.


UMKC (5-23, 2-10 Summit) received 11 kills from Lauren Starks. The Kangaroos only managed to hit .024 (33-30-127) against Centenary’s worthy front line.


Even though the Ladies have four road matches remaining, Bekelja has already secured several spots in both the Centenary and Summit League record books. The senior from League City, Texas, is the Ladies all-time assists leader with 4,304, which ranks fifth all-time in the Summit League standings. She also holds single season and single match records for assists at Centenary and is the first Ladies player to collect 1,000 assists and 1,000 digs. She sits second all-time with 1,054 digs.


Bekelja and the rest of the Ladies will travel to IPFW and IUPUI next Friday and Saturday before closing out the season at North Dakota State and South Dakota State the following weekend.