SHERMAN, Texas – For the third-straight year, the Ladies Volleyball team has won the most conference games in program history. In 2018, the Ladies achieved this end in a grueling four-set win against the 'Roos as Centenary (13-14, 5-7 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) upended Austin College (13-14, 5-7 SCAC) 28-26, 20-25, 32-30, 25-23 in the SCAC Divisional in Sherman, Texas, Saturday, October 20.
In the afternoon session of the tri-match, the Ladies fell to Southwestern (14-10, 10-3 SCAC) 25-9, 25-17, 26-24.
In the road win against the 'Roos, Centenary showed its resiliency as they trailed by at least five in every set it won – and as much as eight in the first and third sets. Down 16-8 and later 18-11 in the opening frame, the Ladies scored 8-of-11 to pull within two. Austin College later had two set points up 24-22, but the Ladies did not break. A kill from freshman Elizabeth Epley and a block from the duo of freshman Alyssa Davis and senior Michaela Brantley tied the match. The home team had two more set points, but Centenary had an answer each time. With the 'Roos up 26-25, Brantley tied the set with a kill. After a hitting error gave the Ladies their first set point, senior Shyann Pisano slammed the door on Austin College with an ace.
After Austin College took set two to tie the match, it scored the first seven points of set three and raced out to a 9-1 advantage. The 'Roos held on to a lead most of the set and led 21-18 before five unanswered put Centenary in the lead. Freshman Lauren Kelley put the Ladies on serve with a kill, and an error and an Epley ace tied the set. Out of a timeout, kills from Kelley and Brantley gave Centenary its first lead of the frame. Austin College fought back and saved six set points. Tied at 30, Brantley tallied a pair of kills to put Centenary up two sets to one.
Brantley recorded a season best 16 kills, hitting only three errors on 31 swings for a .419 hitting percentage. Epley finished with eight kills and only one error on 16 attacks for a .438 hitting percentage. Epley and freshman Rachel Demerjian added three aces apiece. Demerjian contributed a double-double with 47 assists and 16 digs.
Austin College led 16-11 in the third, but an 8-1 run put Centenary in the lead. Davis put herself on serve and promptly hit a pair of aces. Kelley added a kill to bring the Ladies within one, but both teams sided out as the 'Roos held on to a slim lead. Kills from Brantley and Kelley around a hitting error gave Centenary the 19-17 lead.
Later in the set tied at 20, Centenary scored three straight on kills from Kelley and Davis with a 'Roos hitting error. Austin College scored the next two points, but a Brantley kill put Centenary on match point. Both teams split the next two points as Centenary finished off the record-breaking win.
Junior Marissa Sandoval added 21 digs.
Austin College staged its own comeback to take set two. With Centenary up 11-8, Shelbi Cook and Christine Royalty teamed up for a block. Two kills and a solo block by Aelyn Rodriguez, with a Centenary hitting error, put the 'Roos up 14-11. Centenary held a 19-18 lead, but Austin College scored the next six points to go on set point. Brooke Harris hit a pair of kills and added an assisted block during the run.
Mayson Kennon led Austin College with 17 kills and Kristen Massey added eight kills and eight blocks to pace Austin College.
In match two, Southwestern took control from the opening set and rallied in the third to complete the sweep. Davis recorded nine kills and nine digs for the Ladies. Makenzie Mendez led Southwestern with 38 assists and 11 digs.
Centenary kicks off a busy week at home Monday, October 22, when it hosts Louisiana College. First serve is set for 7 p.m.