Ladies Push Western Illinois to the Brink in 3-1 Loss
Friday, October 13, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-WIU Box Score 10-13-06

Danielle Bochat

Lauren Fielding

Rebekah Hill

Lindsay Bekelja

Rebecca Lunceford

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary volleyball team enjoyed perhaps the best team effort it has put forth this season, but came up short against one of the Mid-Continent Conference’s top teams in the Gold Dome Friday evening. Western Illinois prevailed to stay undefeated within the league by scraping by a gritty Ladies squad 3-1 (31-33, 30-15, 30-26, 31-29).


Centenary (8-16, 1-4 Mid-Con) shocked the visitors in game one as the Maroon and White matched the heavily favored Westerwinds point for point. A kill from sophomore Ashlee Freeman (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) set the tone and gave the Ladies the first point of the match. Several rallies later, the game was still tied at 15-15 until back-to-back attack errors by Erin Frick and Monique Houston of WIU lengthened Centenary’s lead to two at 17-15.


Western Illinois (9-10, 5-0 Mid-Con) battled back and finally reclaimed the advantage at 26-25 thanks to consecutive aces from Jennifer Alexander. A kill from Amy Sauerwein brought the game to match point with the Westerwinds serving ahead 29-28, but a costly attack error knotted the game again. The Ladies fought off several more match points with kills from Danielle Bochat (Boerne, Texas/Boerne) and Rebekah Hill (Carthage, Texas/Carthage). With the score tied at 31-31, Centenary received the boost it was looking for when Rebecca Lunceford (Baton Rouge, La./The Dunham School) and Lindsay Bekelja (League City, Texas/Clear Creek) combined on a block and Frick committed an attack error that allowed the Ladies to take the contest 33-31.


The Westerwinds answered back, hitting an impressive .472 in game two while breaking open a 10-8 game to sail to a 30-15 win. Alexander served seven straight points and Ashley Baker, Houston, and Patty Melinauskas each contributed five kills in the game two victory.


Game three proved to be another close battle that featured only two lead changes in the first 42 rallies. The Ladies received five kills from Lunceford and six from Bochat while holding a small lead until Western Illinois broke through at 22-21. Centenary tied the game again at 25-25 on Bochat’s final kill of the game, but the Westerwinds’ unselfish offensive scheme allowed Houston, Sauerwein, Melinauskas, and Baker to collect the necessary kills to end the game at 30-26.


Centenary looked determined to even the match with a game four victory as freshman Christina Nichols (Katy, Texas/Katy) ran off the first six points from the service line, two courtesy of aces. However, Western Illinois responded with five straight points to make it a game again.


Four blocks in the game kept the Ladies within striking distance. Western seemed poised to close out the match with a 28-23 lead, but this time Centenary would be the one to respond as an ace, a kill, and two WIU attack errors made the score 28-27. Down to their final chance with the tally at 29-27, the Maroon and White pushed for another two points to tie the game at 29-29. Melinauskas then ended the Ladies run with a pair of kills to close out the match.


Houston paced Western Illinois with 21 kills while Baker (18), Sauerwein (16), and Melinauskas (16) each added double-digit kills in the win. Sauerwein collected a double double with 23 digs and Alexander finished with 21 digs. Lisa Suellentrop came off the bench to steer the Westerwinds’ offense with 57 assists.


Centenary had three players reach the double-digit plateau in kills as Bochat led the way with 18 kills and 13 digs. Hill and Lunceford contributed 12 kills and 11 kills respectively and Bekelja also added a double double with 53 assists and 11 digs. Freshman Lauren Fielding (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) seemed to snag almost everything that came her way, finishing with 28 spectacular digs from her libero position.


The Ladies will look to carry over their exceptional play from this evening when they host UMKC in the Gold Dome on Saturday at 6 p.m.