Ladies Take Two Five-Game Matches
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

GRAMBLING, La.—The Centenary Ladies played two long matches Tuesday, defeating Alcorn State in five games (30-21, 16-30, 30-32, 30-18, 16-14) before fighting off Grambling State in another five-game contest (30-32, 30-26, 30-16, 27-30, 16-14).

In the first match, Centenary held a 27-22 lead in game three before Alcorn State came back by going on a 10-3 run to win the game and take a 2-1 lead. The Ladies dominated game four to force a deciding fifth game, one in which Centenary fell behind early and faced match point at 14-13. However, the Ladies took the next three points to win the match.

Ashley Templer earned a double-double with a team-high 17 kills and 16 digs, as did Kelley Heckman with 11 kills and 15 digs. Kim Gladu contributed 16 kills, while Tracee Byrd notched 11 kills and four service aces. As has been the case throughout the season, Lauren Sledge (33 assists) and Stephanie Scanlan (28 assists) split the setting duties.

Centenary (5-9) had to come right back and face Grambling State after fending off Alcorn State. The Ladies dropped the first game, but came back to win the next two. They lost an opportunity to end the evening early by losing game four, forcing yet another fifth game. As in the match against Alcorn State, the Ladies fell behind and held off match point for Grambling at 14-13 by taking three straight points to win their second match of the day.

The last two points were clinched by blocks from Gladu, who earned her first career triple-double with 12 kills, 25 digs, and 10 total blocks. Three other players earned double-doubles, led by Templer with 23 kills and 16 digs. Templer had 86 kill attempts, setting a new Centenary record for kill attempts in a match. Heckman earned 20 kills and 18 digs for her second double-double of the day, while Sledge had 40 assists and 10 digs.

Gladu's nine block assists led the way as Centenary had a total of 26 block assists, a new team record. Byrd notched eight block assists to go along with 14 kills, while Gretchen Conlin had five block assists in addition to eight kills and six digs. The Ladies also tied a school record for most kills in a match with 79.

One of the reasons Centenary was able to remain unbeaten in five-game matches in Jenny Hazelwood's coaching career (6-0) was the senior leadership of Casey Varnado. From the libero position, Varnado notched 23 digs in the two matches and provided vocal support to her younger teammates when they needed it the most.

After a light practice Wednesday, the Ladies travel to New Orleans, La., for the Kathy Trosclair Memorial Tournament over the weekend.