Ladies Lose Lead and Match to Grambling
Thursday, September 8, 2005


Files associated with this release:
CC-GSU Box Score

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary volleyball team made a short trip to Grambling State on Wednesday, which turned into a long night. The Ladies quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Lady Tigers stormed back amidst plenty of controversy to take the victory 3-2. In the end, Grambling won the two-hour and 45 minute battle 27-30, 28-30, 31-29, 31-29, 15-12.

 

Centenary (3-5) took the lead for good in game one when back-to-back service aces by Tracee Byrd put the Ladies on top 7-6. Grambling always managed to keep the Ladies within striking distance, never falling further than three points behind. The Lady Tigers made a final push to tie the game at 27-27, but Centenary responded with kills by Byrd and Lindsay Bekelja to close it out.

 

Grambling (1-3) held the advantage in most of game two, including a two-point margin at 28-26 late in the contest. Again the Ladies stepped up their efforts and received clutch kills by Rebecca Lunceford and Ashlee Freeman to go with a big block from Freeman and Stephanie Scanlan to seal the win.

 

Although there were several contentions by the Centenary fans and coaches on calls made by the line judges to this point, the game seemed under the Ladies’ control. However, the pot began to boil in the third game when Centenary thought it had claimed a 29-25 lead on a service ace by Lili Williams.

 

The scorekeeper mistakenly added an extra point to Grambling to pull the Lady Tigers within three points at 29-26. After a lengthy delay, the referee was unable to sort out the problem within the official scorebook and the score remained incorrectly at just a three-point difference. The Centenary momentum had been stopped by the halt in action and the home team used a pair of kills by Okina Alford and an ace to claim a false 31-29 victory when the score should have been just 30-29.

 

The Ladies never recovered from the turn of events and dropped a hard fought fourth game to Grambling 31-29. Centenary began to slip in its service and receive efforts as the matched continued, costing the team valuable points.

 

Centenary stormed out of the gates in the fifth game to take a commanding 10-5 lead in the race to 15. Again the Ladies lost momentum and after two Centenary service errors allowed the Lady Tigers to creep within one point, an attack by Grambling’s Alford appeared to sail well long of the back line. The attempt was called in by the line judge and was not overturned by the referee, placing GSU in a 10-10 tie with Centenary.

 

The Ladies got sloppy in the final moments of the match and Ashley Cooper took advantage for the Lady Tigers by pounding down a pair of free balls at the net. The home team then finished off Centenary within an emphatic block off of an attack attempt by Lunceford.

 

For the match, the Ladies allowed 19 aces to the Grambling women while committing 10 service errors. Centenary did out-hit its opponent .241 to .230 and out-blocked them 13 to 12, but the Ladies could not close out games when given the opportunity.

 

Freeman led the Ladies by collecting a double double with 18 kills and 11 total blocks (one block solo and 10 block assists). Danielle Bochat contributed 16 kills in the loss while Byrd finished with a team-high 18 digs. Lindsay Bekelja recorded 45 assists on the evening.

 

The Ladies next travel to Denton, Tex., where they will face Prairie View A&M, Wyoming, and North Texas on Friday and Saturday in the North Texas Tournament.