Ladies Volleyball Prepares for 2017 Season
Ladies Volleyball Prepares for 2017 Season
Thursday, August 31, 2017
McMurry (1-0)
Centenary (LA) (0-1)
9/1/2017 | Sherman, Texas | Attendance: 68
McMurry252525 -- --
Centenary (LA)151712 -- --
Stats at a GlanceMCMCENT
Hitting Pct..372.040
Total Attacks94101
Statistical LeadersMCMCENT
KillsJustice McGowan - 9
Desiree Frey - 9
AssistsEmarie James - 21
Allison Lazewski - 23
AcesLauryn Davis - 2
Khristyn Howard - 2
Marissa Sandoval - 2
DigsOdalis Rodriguez - 9
Jaelyn Green - 9
Marissa Sandoval - 9
BlocksJustice McGowan - 8.0
Shannon Orlopp - 2.0

SHREVEPORT, La. – The Centenary Ladies volleyball team kicks off the 2017 season Friday when they visit Sherman, Texas, for the annual Austin College Classic, September 1-2.

Video Preview with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference

The Ladies experienced change in the offseason when they welcomed Caroline Carlton as the new Centenary head coach. Carlton comes to Shreveport after spending the last two seasons at Wesleyan College (Georgia) including serving as head coach this past season.

However, despite the change in head coach, the Ladies will see very little turnover. Centenary played with no seniors in 2016, and have the benefit of 8-of-12 members of this year’s team are upperclassmen.

Among the leading returners are seniors Desiree Frey and Allison Lazewski. Frey ranked ninth in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference last season with 2.86 kills per set. After three seasons, she sits sixth in the career Centenary annals with 755 kills and just ranks outside of the top-10 with 752 digs. If she records her career average of 2.46 kills and 2.45 digs per set, Frey needs to play in only 102 sets to become the first player in school history to reach the century mark in both kills and digs.

Finishing eighth in the conference last season with 5.59 assists per set, Lazewski already sits second in the Centenary volleyball record books with 1,619 career assists.

Besides the two seniors, the Ladies will have the services of six juniors, two sophomores, and two incoming freshmen.


Outside Hitting

According to Coach Carlton, Frey and junior Hailey Lawson looks to have wrapped up the starting outside hitter positions.

“Desiree and Hailey have secured our outside positions in the preseason. They have consistently shown their ability to start and perform in these positions,” said Carlton.

Averaging more than two kills a set every season of her Centenary career, Frey has led Centenary in that category the past two seasons. She is joined by Lawson, who finished second on the team in 2016 with 2.35 kills per set. However, Lawson has also proven to be one of the best servers in the SCAC. She finished second in the SCAC her freshman season (0.41) and led the conference last season (0.61) in aces per set. With 105 service aces in two seasons, Lawson sits eighth in the career record book.

Last season, Lawson broke the 24-year old record single game record with 10 aces against Texas College October 19. The 10 aces were the 10th-most for a single match in SCAC history and the first time a player recorded double-digit match aces in the conference in six seasons.

Overall, Centenary returns 95 percent of its aces and 83.3 percent of its kills from 2016.


Middle Blockers

“In the middle juniors Michaela Brantley and Shannon Orlopp have been working with new comer Lauren Pilcher. All three middles have been key players in practice and the competition for the two starting positions is intense,” said Coach Carlton.

Brantley returns for 2017 after leading the team last season with 0.36 blocks per set and has 75 blocks in two seasons at Centenary. Last season, she finished second on the team in hitting percentage (.153) and fourth in kills per set (1.55). She had a season-high 15 kills to help the Ladies rally from a two-set deficit to beat Dallas September 16. October 19 against Texas College, she hit .857 with six kills on seven attempts.

Orlopp has seen her playing time increase from her freshman to sophomore seasons. As a freshman, she only appeared in 14 sets and 11 matches, seeing that increase to 18 matches and 80 sets her sophomore season. In 2016, Orlopp contributed 0.54 kills and 0.16 blocks per set.

Pilcher is beginning her freshman campaign at Centenary, but is no stranger to the area. Hailing from Bossier City, she recently graduated from Airline High School. Her 6-0 stature matches Lindsey Long (2012-2015, seventh in Centenary history with 167 blocks) as the tallest player since the Ladies started playing NCAA Division III volleyball.



It will be quite the contrast for Centenary at the setter position. Lazewski, who ranks second in the Centenary career annals in assists, will be playing her final season in a Ladies uniform. The Maroon and White also welcome freshman Brittany Risner.

“In the setting position we have senior Allison Lazewski and first year Brittany Risner, both have worked extremely hard in practice thus far,” said coach Carlton.

While Lazewski has certainly made a name for herself as a setter, it would be a big oversight to overlook what she has done behind the service line. She has 104 aces for her career, which is ninth just behind Lawson. In 2016, she recorded a pair of double-doubles (assists and digs), her first double-doubles since she had three her freshman year. She also had a career-best 47 assists in a four-set win against Sul Ross State.

Risner is a relative of Kristy Risner-Conrad (1991-1994), who still ranks 10th in the Centenary record books with 766 career digs. A volleyball player as well, Risner-Conrad was inducted in to the Centenary hall of fame in 2005.


Right Side

“On the right side, juniors Makenzie Shaw and Shyann Pisano have both had a great preseason. We have not decided on a 5-1 or 6-2 for our opening weekend, but I know either player can get the job done on the right side,” explained coach Carlton.

Coming in as an outside and right side hitter in 2015, Shaw has seen her role increase with the addition of setting duties. In 2016, she finished second on the team and 11th in the conference with 3.31 assists per set. She had a career-high 11 kills in the Ladies four-set win against Sul Ross State last season.

Pisano saw increased playing time as a sophomore, where she played in 27 matches and 70 sets. Averaging 0.69 kills per set, she hit .667 with seven kills and one error on nine swings in a win against Rust October 19.


Defensive Specialist

One of the deepest position for the Ladies is at defensive specialist as both junior Amanda Farr and sophomores Kristian Loving and Marrisa Sandoval saw time at libero last season.

“Our defensive specialists/liberos have pushed very hard this preseason. Between Amanda, Kristian and Marissa, our defense is looking great. Knowing I can play any combination of these three players on the back row is huge for us. Sandoval finished second on the team with 3.00 digs per set, while loving ranked fourth with 1.80.

Farr has played in 49 matches in two seasons of her Centenary career and has started 28 matches at libero.



While Centenary plays in the SCAC, the Ladies will have an early shot to make noise against numerous American Southwest Conference opponents. The Ladies play six ASC opponents in the first two weeks, including this upcoming weekend against McMurry, Howard Payne, and Sul Ross State at the annual Austin College Classic. In all-time meetings, Centenary is 3-2 against Sul Ross State thanks to a victory last season. The Ladies fell to McMurry on the opening weekend and in 2016 and are 0-6 against the War Hawks.

This is the first meeting with Howard Payne since the pen-ultimate match of 2015 for the Ladies, with Centenary losing in three and falling to 1-2 against the Yellow Jackets. The weekend concludes with Centenary’s first match-up with Paul Quinn.

Following a midweek contest at East Texas Baptist, the Ladies travel to the annual Belhaven Classic. The Maroon and White open up home play September 13 with the first match ever between Centenary and first-year ASC program Louisiana College.


Next Up

Following four matches this weekend, the Ladies make the short drive down I-20 to take on ASC-rival East Texas Baptist September 5. First serve is set for 7 p.m.