Ladies Capture Emotional First Mid-Con Win
Saturday, November 5, 2005

Files associated with this release:
CC-CSU Boxscore

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary volleyball team couldn’t have picked a better time for its first ever Mid-Continent Conference win since joining the league for play in the fall of 2003. On senior night, with Centenary saying goodbye to two of its most prolific players in program history, the maroon and white would not be denied as the Ladies dropped Chicago State 3-1 (32-30, 28-30, 30-23, 33-31) in a fitting tribute to seniors Tracee Byrd and Kelley Heckman.


Centenary (11-24, 1-11 Mid-Con) came out slow in game one and quickly fell behind 12-3. However, the Ladies responded with a pair of kills by Danielle Bochat and several blocks by Byrd to pull within four at 14-10. Centenary continued to inch closer before finally pulling ahead at 22-21 on a ball handling error by Chicago State’s Catherine Everist. With what seemed to be a commanding lead at 28-24, the visiting Cougars ran off several points, in large part to multiple Centenary hitting errors, and jumped back in front at 30-29. A determined Byrd answered back for the Ladies with an emphatic kill to knot the score at 30 apiece before a key block by Lindsay Bekelja and Ashlee Freeman and another kill by Bochat sealed the win.


Chicago State (2-26, 1-11 Mid-Con) squeaked out a game two win, 30-28, despite hitting just .102 as a team. A fiery Shamara Clark put down five kills and collected an ace to help the Cougars even the match.


The Ladies ran away with game three, 30-23, while holding the CSU offense to a negative hitting percentage (-.020). After a tie game at 10-10, Centenary’s Bochat and Byrd alternated kills to make their advantage seven at 17-10. The Cougars would not recover from the run and dropped behind 2-1 in the match.


Game four was a tough back-and-forth battle for both teams as neither squad held a lead bigger then three points throughout the majority of the contest. A late Chicago State run put the Ladies behind by six at 26-20 and it looked as if a fifth and deciding game would be eminent. Centenary then responded with four consecutive points off of the serve of Shayla Andreas. Several moments later the maroon and white evened the game at 29-29 on a service ace by Byrd after a CSU timeout. Bochat’s 18th kill and two strikes by Stephanie Scanlan ended the match to a raucous standing ovation by the Gold Dome crowd as the Ladies finally earned the elusive first Mid-Con victory. 


“Both teams played really hard tonight and I’m glad we came away with that first win,” said Centenary coach Jenny Hazelwood. “The team played with a lot of heart and we really wanted it for the seniors. Tracee and Kelley (Heckman) have both worked so hard to get this program to this point and they deserved to win their last home match.”


Senior Kelley Heckman led the Centenary defense from her libero position and came away with 14 digs in her final home match. Byrd came through with several big plays when the Ladies needed it most and finished with 10 kills and 12 digs. Scanlan and Bekelja notched two of Centenary’s four double doubles as Scanlan posted 13 kills and 10 digs while Bekelja added 18 digs to go with 50 assists. Sophomore Shayla Andreas nearly missed a fifth maroon and white double double as she totaled nine kills and 10 digs.


Although it was a night for the seniors, the freshman Bochat logged a big evening for the Ladies. The outside hitter pounded down 18 kills and tossed in 20 digs in the winning cause. Late in game three, Bochat notched her 408th kill on the season, placing her at the top of the Centenary record book for most kills in a single season, surpassing Heckman’s old mark of 407.


The Ladies will look to keep the momentum going as they travel to face Alcorn State on Tuesday before closing out their 2005 schedule with Mid-Con matches at Valparaiso and Oakland over the weekend.