IRVING, Texas – Down in sets 2-1 and 20-13 in the fourth, the Ladies rallied to save two match points and push the contest to the fifth. However, Dallas took control early in the final set and never let up as Centenary (17-18) lost at Dallas (20-13) 29-27, 20-25, 25-22, 26-28, 15-10 in the first match of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Friday afternoon, November 2.
Down 20-13 in the fourth, Centenary scored five straight points. After a kill from freshman Alyssa Davis, three straight hitting errors by the Crusaders and an ace by junior Kristian Loving cut the deficit to two. Dallas later had two match points at 24-22, but the Ladies' seniors made sure the match was not going to end in four. After a senior Michaela Brantley kill, classmate Hailey Lawson stepped to the service line. A Dallas hitting error and a kill from senior Makenzie Shaw gave the Ladies set point. The home team saved two set points, but two kills from Davis pushed the game to the fifth.
Davis finished with a match best 19 kills while Shaw tallied nine kills – five in the fourth set alone.
After dropping a wild first set and trailing 6-3 in the second, a 17-7 run by the Ladies opened up a seven-point lead. Down three, Centenary scored six straight to take the lead for good in the set. Three Dallas errors tied the frame and a pair of aces off of junior Marissa Sandoval's serve gave the Ladies the lead. A kill from freshman Elizabeth Epley pushed the advantage to 9-6.
Dallas pulled with 9-8, Centenary scored three-straight points – including two aces from Loving. Centenary later pushed the lead to 20-13 on four unanswered points. Two Dallas errors, an ace by Lawson, and a kill off an overpass by Brantley forced the Crusaders timeout. Centenary held on for a five-point set win to tie the match.
Sandoval and Loving each hit three aces for the match with Sandoval finishing with a career match high 36 digs. Freshman Rachel Demerjian tallied her 19th double-double of the season with 52 assists and a career high 22 digs.
Centenary trailed 24-22 in the first set, but kills from Epley and Davis tied the set. The teams traded the next six points, but the Ladies could never reach set point. A kill from Dallas' Abigail Porras and a Centenary hitting error ended the set.
In the fifth, Centenary pulled within 9-8 on a kill from Brantley and a Dallas error. However, the Crusaders answered with three straight points. After a Centenary service error, Ellise Anable tallied a kill and Anna Stevenson cleaned up an overpass. Later with the home team up 13-10, a kill and ace from Garcia ended the match.
Anable (17 kills and 22 digs), Garcia (12 kills and 30 digs), and Elizabeth Smith (54 assists and 13 digs) all recorded double-doubles for Dallas. Stevenson contributed nine blocks.
Centenary concludes the 2018 season Saturday, November 3, when it takes on either third seed Southwestern or sixth seed Austin College in the fifth-place match at 5 p.m.