Ladies Open Season With Split in New Orleans
Friday, September 3, 2004

New Orleans—The Centenary Ladies volleyball team opened the 2004 season with a split on the first day of action at the UNO Wyndham Invitational Tournament. The Ladies fell to the University of New Orleans in the tournament opener before bouncing back to dismantle Morgan State in three straight games.

Centenary (1-1) began the day with a tough 3-1 loss to the host school (24-30, 30-25, 18-30, 23-30) as the Ladies failed to shut down the offense of the Privateers. Four players recorded double digit kills for UNO (1-0) including a match-high 16 kills by Jennifer Cruz.

Freshman Lindsay Bekelja tallied 33 assists while running the Centenary offense in her first collegiate match. Kelley Heckman and Tracee Byrd did most of the scoring for the Ladies as each finished with 12 kills on the afternoon.

The second match of the day would provide the Ladies with their first win of the season, a 3-0 drumming of Morgan State (30-25, 30-15, 30-27). Junior Catey Batte rifled four aces to give her six on the day to go with her 35 digs in the doubleheader. Heckman (10) and Byrd (11) each totaled double digit kills for the second consecutive match while freshman Emily Longerot led the Ladies with 12 kills in the victory. Centenary did not claim its first win last season until the sixth match of the year.

Morgan State (0-3) was held to a .089 hitting percentage while committing 22 errors. The Lady Bears managed only 30 kills in the loss compared to 43 for a Centenary team that boasted a kill percentage of .337 to go along with their 11 aces.

Centenary will return to action in the UNO Wyndham Invitational on Saturday where they will face Troy State at 10 a.m. and Southeastern Louisiana at 2:30 p.m.