• Centennial’s volleyball team returns six players from last year’s playoff team. Shown are front row, from left, Casey Hendrixson, Maddie Skaggs and Carly Worthy; back row are, Makenna Dugan, Claire McCalla and Ady Mize. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Ransom looking to make her mark at Centennial

In her first season leading Centennial’s volleyball program, Jessica Ransom was able to guide the Lady Spartans to the playoffs by taking them through her off-season program.

This season could be an even bigger one, considering Ransom was able to work with her players through a complete off-season to make her mark on the program.

“We were able to work on the things I wanted like consistent hitting and players being able to play six rotations,” Ransom said. “We want to have a more dynamic offense. We were able to incorporate a lot of things in the off-season that the coaching staff wanted to focus on. Everyone has bought into how we want things to go this season. It’s fun to see the kids buy into your vision.”

Six players return from last year’s squad that went 22-19 overall a 10-4 in District 9-5A play. The Lady Spartans finished third in 9-5A and lost to Mansfield Lady Ridge in the opening round of the playoffs.

Returning are seniors Maddie Skaggs (setter), Makenna Dugan (outside hitter) and Carly Worthy (defensive specialist), juniors Ady Mize (outside hitter) and Molly McCalla (middle blocker), and sophomore defensive specialist Casey Hendrixson.

Mize, Hendrixson and Worthy were all honorable mention players last season. McCalla is out with an injury and isn’t expected to return until October.

Ransom said the returning players have dedicated themselves to taking a leadership role and being in charge.

“We were able to incorporate a lot of things in the off-season that the coaching staff wanted to focus on,” Ransom said. “Everyone has bought into how we want things to go this season. It’s fun to see the kids buy into your vision.”

A key for the season will be the play of three new middle blockers – senior Allison Nolan, and juniors Zassmine Birdwell and Sam Ufkes.

“Our middle blockers have a lot of height and athleticism,” Ransom said. “All three should be able to step up offensively.”

Added to mix will be senior outside hitter Halley Grace, junior setters Carley Eller and Avery Tomme, and junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Moore.

“It is going to take a little bit of time to mesh and feed off each other,” Ransom said. “I like this team. We are much deeper this season.”

Centennial opens 9-5A play Sept. 8 hosting Everman.

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Centennial’s volleyball team returns six players from last year’s playoff team. Shown are front row, from left, Casey Hendrixson, Maddie Skaggs and Carly Worthy; back row are, Makenna Dugan, Claire McCalla and Ady Mize. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE