Ladies Suffer Loss To IUPUI In Season Finale
Sunday, November 14, 2004

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary Ladies volleyball team suffered a spirited season-ending loss to the visiting IUPUI Jaguars in the Gold Dome on Sunday afternoon by the scores of 30-17, 30-20, 30-28. Although the Ladies lost in three games, the team improved throughout the match and narrowly missed a game-three win over IUPUI, the fourth seed in next weekend’s Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.


Centenary (6-30, 0-14 Mid-Con) started off sluggish in the rare Sunday early afternoon contest and IUPUI took advantage. The Jaguars hit at a .270 clip led by Katie Hahn’s opening game effort of four kills while the Ladies managed a negative kill percentage. Centenary’s Kelley Heckman kept pace with Hahn as she also tallied four kills in game one.


IUPUI (15-16, 9-5 Mid-Con) continued to apply pressure in game two by adding Tracy Bailey and Michelle Sobocinski to the offensive arsenal. Bailey racked up six kills in game two without an error while Sobocinski notched five kills. Centenary hung tough and even grabbed the lead in the early going but could not keep up as the Jaguars stifled the Ladies offensively. Heckman finished with only one kill in the game while Emily Longerot converted on just two of her 14 attempts.


With the possibility of only one more game left in their season, the Ladies came out gunning in game three. After IUPUI took a 3-1 advantage, Centenary stormed back behind two aces by Tracee Byrd and a host of kills from Ashley Templer to gain the edge at 12-10. The two teams battled back and forth for several points that featured multiple long rallies before IUPUI broke ahead at 27-25. The Ladies pulled back within one at 29-28 before a Centenary hitting error ended the match. Bailey added six more kills in the game for IUPUI as did Templer for Centenary.  


Bailey led all players with 15 kills in the match for IUPUI while Sobocinski (12) and Katie Hahn (10) also finished in double figures. Four players totaled double digit digs for the Jaguars highlighted by Sobocinski’s 14 digs. Erin Jones and Christy McConnell each added 12 digs and Tanna Smith contributed 11 digs in the victory.


Ashley Templer led the Centenary charge with 10 kills to go with 14 digs from Catey Batte and 10 digs from Heckman.


For the season, several Ladies found their way near the top of the Centenary record book including Lindsey Bekelja and Heckman. Bekelja dished out 58 assists against Grambling to take the all-time single-game assist mark and finished her freshman campaign with 1,150 assists, the most in any Centenary season. That total also lands her in third place of the all-time career list after only one season with the Ladies.


Heckman, already the single-season record holder for most kill attempts in one season (1,341 in 2002) and digs in a season (546 in 2002), now stands as the all-time digs leader at 1,156 in her three-year tenure at Centenary. She also ranks second all-time in kill attempts (2,811) and third in kills (767) and service aces (120).   


Junior Tracee Byrd inched closer to the top of several categories as she now places second in total kills (930) and third all-time in kill attempts (2,463) and block assists (131).


On the single-season side, Catey Batte’s 341 digs in 2004 ranks seventh while Ashley Templer’s 1,070 kill attempts was good enough for second all-time. Emily Longerot enjoyed a successful debut season, racking up 1,020 attempts for the fourth most in a season and Byrd’s 379 kills put her second behind Heckman’s 407 kills of two years ago.


Centenary will look to improve again next season as the Ladies played without a single senior on the roster in 2004. With the increased experience for the younger players and the addition of some key recruits, the Ladies could be a team full of surprises in 2005.