Ladies Fall in Season-Opening Matches to Drake and SHSU
Friday, August 29, 2008

HUNTSVILLE, Texas—The Centenary volleyball team opened its 2008 season with a pair of losses, but proved that it can be highly competitive despite its youthful roster. The Ladies fell to Drake in the morning session, 3-0 (28-26, 25-17, 25-14), and dropped their afternoon contest to Sam Houston State, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 25-11), at the Comfort Suites Invitational on Friday.


Centenary (0-2) pushed Drake (1-0) to the brink in the opening set of the match. The Ladies trailed 24-19 with the Bulldogs needing just one point to put the game away before the Maroon and White went on an impressive run.


Brianna Kern notched a kill, which was followed by a pair of kills from Jenny Kunze and three more kills from Kinsey Mims. Before Drake could blink, the Ladies had run off six straight points and were serving for the set, leading 25-24. Centenary had an offensive opportunity off of its following service, but Kunze’s kill attempt was blocked by Alisa DeBerg Roth. The two teams then went back and forth for a few points before Drake pulled out the 28-26 victory.


The Ladies led the second set 8-7 on the strength of three kills and a service ace from Mims. Drake then responded with six straight points due to a host of blocks by Michelle Reidy and Emily Madden. The Bulldogs put that set away and kept the momentum going into the third set. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes and sailed on from there.


Kunze led the Ladies with eight kills, but hit for a -0.30 percentage on 33 attempts with nine errors. Mims proved to be effective, pounding down six kills on 12 attempts with just one error. Erika Lunsford collected five kills on six attempts in the loss.


In addition, Caitlin Neese dished out 20 assists for Centenary and Bethany Kern led the way with 14 digs.


In the afternoon, Centenary bounced back and took to the court against the host Sam Houston State (1-0) squad. The Ladies led the first set, 15-13, after a kill from Brianna Kern and found themselves trailing the Bearkats by only two points at 20-18 following a kill from Christina Golden. However, SHSU took five of the next six points to close out the set.


The second set was all Centenary as the Ladies stormed out of the gate to win the first five points. Kills by Mims and Neese, along with a pair of aces by Bethany Kern, allowed the Maroon and White to take the 5-0 advantage. Sam Houston whittled the deficit down to one point at 13-12, but the Ladies answered with six consecutive points behind two Centenary blocks and easily took the set.


It was the Bearkats who got out of the gate fast in the third set and grabbed an early 6-0 lead. The Ladies never recovered, losing both the third and fourth sets handily.


Brianna Kern recorded nine kills for Centenary in the loss, while Mims tallied eight kills. Golden and Kunze each had seven kills for the Ladies. Mims hit at an exceptional .500 percentage on the day, totaling 14 kills on just one error in 26 attempts.


Bethany Kern was impressive in the back row, tallying 27 digs in the second match and 41 for the entire day. Jaclyn Lopez handled the setting duties for the second match and finished with 22 assists.


The Ladies will jump right back into action on Saturday with two more matches in the Comfort Suites Sam Houston State Invitational. Centenary will tackle Wisconsin-Green Bay at 9 a.m. before locking up with Ball State at 2 p.m.