Ladies drop two more in home openers
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SHREVEPORT – Centenary gave Mississippi College a scare in the final match of Tuesday’s volleyball tri-match in the Gold Dome, but the visiting Choctaws rallied from a second-set loss to give the Ladies their 10th straight defeat to start the season.

Centenary (0-10) dropped its home opener to Belhaven, 25-19, 25-9, 25-11, which followed with a 25-17, 25-12, 25-20 win over Mississippi College. Centenary took Mississippi College to four sets (19-25, 25-19, 15-25, 15-25), the third set the Ladies have won this year.

Belhaven improved to 7-2 and Mississippi College moved to 6-5 with the day’s split. The Ladies return to action Sept. 18 with the second tri-match against Texas Wesleyan and Wiley College.

“I feel like we’re almost there,” head coach Jon Stenman said. “We aren’t there, obviously, and we have a lot of work to do, but I feel like we’re starting to put some pieces together.”

After dropping the first set to Mississippi College, some of those piece started coming together as the Ladies jumped out on top 18-8, its biggest lead of the year. The Choctaws sparked a 10-3 run to pull within 21-18, but Centenary used kills by Lindsey Bruce and Christina NeSmith, along with a Brooke Bahlinger service ace to jump back up 24-19 before a MC attack error gave Centenary the set.

“It was great to see how we persevered through that and stuck together to win that set,” Stenman said. “Mississippi College made a great rally and were only down three, so it would’ve been easy for us to put our heads down, but seeing our resolve was encouraging.”

Rachel Perkins posted nine kills in the four-set loss, leading the Ladies with a .389 hitting mark. Brooke Bahlinger posted eight scores, but had 10 errors in 34 total attacks. Sarah Irons and Lindsey Bruce followed with seven kills.

Junior setter Beth Nuttall tallied 19 assists while Shelby Jackson had 14. Senior Jesi Wilcox and Bruce led the squad with 22 and 20 digs, respectively.

Bahlinger accounted for a third of Centenary’s kills against Belhaven with five.