Former Carroll County standout Cheyenne Strickland’s name will forever be etched in the NCAA Division III Volleyball record book.
Strickland, a sophomore two-sport standout at Ferrum College, set an NCAA record for consecutive points served as well as tying a school record for most aces in a match Sept. 30 during the Panthers’ USA South win over Wesleyan (Ga.) College in Raleigh, N.C.
A 2015 graduate of Carroll County High School, Strickland opened the 25-0, 25-10, 25-7 victory with a vengeance, serving 25 straight points in the opening set. Strickland was so dominant behind the serving line, she recorded eight service aces in that set. She added two more aces on the night to finish with 10 aces, tying Ferrum’s single match school record set by Jessica Flanagan against Salem College in 2006.
According to the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Record Book, the record for consecutive points served, using a 25-point scoring format, was 20 by Lauren Halverson of Mt. St. Mary (NY) against Bard College on Oct. 17, 2009. That record was broken on Sept. 14 this season when Meredith’s Keegan Lynch served 24 consecutive points in the second set of the Angels’ 3-0 win over Elizabeth City State University. Ironically, Strickland broke the record in that same gym (the Sept. 30 game was part of a quad held at Meredith College). Unless the NCAA goes to a different scoring format, the best any future player will ever be able to do is to tie Strickland’s record. In fact, Strickland’s 25 straight points tie the all-time record for Division III (Mary Kate Cordisco of Moravian served 25 straight points on Aug. 29, 2003 against Washington College under the old 30-point scoring format).
“It was really exciting. They called a timeout at eight points. I knew what the score was, it was 8-0 and then I didn’t want to look at the scoreboard to psych myself out,” Strickland said of the record-breaking performance. “And then when we got to the 24th point I really felt the pressure. And then when we got to the 25 it was just a relief, it felt awesome.”
Strickland said she was aware of the school record for aces, so being able to reach two milestones in one night was something she will never forget.
“It was pretty awesome,” Strickland said. “I had looked at the records before and I had actually memorized that there was 10 aces in a match. I actually said it during the match to (teammate) Ebony (Crawford) and so when I actually accomplished that it felt great.”
Strickland leads the Panther volleyball team this season in assists (672), attack percentage (.244) and service aces (46). She’s also third on the team in kills (135). As of Oct. 12, Ferrum sported an overall record of 10-16 and a 5-6 mark in the USA South.
Strickland is also a standout with the Ferrum softball team. As a freshman, she helped the Panthers win the 2016 USA South Softball Tournament, earning Tournament MVP honors after belting a three-run homer in the title game to lift the Panthers to the win and earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Softball Championships. Ferrum’s starting shortstop, Strickland batted .326 with 11 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 18 RBI. She also was an all-state softball player at Carroll County High School, where she helped lead the Cavaliers to the first team state title in any sport in school history in 2015.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN