SHREVEPORT, La. – The Ladies Volleyball team (14-15, 5-7 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) looks to qualify for the Conference Tournament as it hosts a quartet of matches this weekend.
Centenary battles #10 Trinity (21-5, 12- SCAC) at 2 p.m. and Austin College (14-14, 5-7 SCAC) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 27. The Ladies finish the weekend Sunday, October 28, against Texas Lutheran (8-16, 5-8 SCAC) at 10 a.m. Before the match against Schreiner at 2 p.m., Centenary will honor its six seniors.
On Sunday, we will honor a group of six seniors who have had a big impact on Ladies Volleyball since they set foot on campus. They have combined for almost 700 matches played. Each of the last three years, they have increased the program's record for conference wins. Last year, they recorded the second-most wins and program history. The Ladies enter the weekend with the third-most wins in program history for 2018.
Senior middle blocker Michaela Brantley enters the weekend having played in every match the past four years and has appeared in 421 sets.
"Michaela is the spark plug that every team needs," said head coach Caroline Carlton "Her impact on the Centenary Volleyball program is vast, and she has played a large role in the team's success. Michaela's leadership on and off the court is clear."
Brantley is a clear example of putting the student in student-athlete as a psychology major. She has been named to the SCAC Scholar List her first three seasons and has been on the Centenary Dean's List every semester. She was also inducted into the Psi Chi Psychology Honor's Society.
Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and obtain a master's degree in counseling, specializing in play therapy.
Brantley's favorite memory is celebrating big money blocks with the team by screaming, dancing, and sliding on their knees.
Amanda Farr has appeared in 98 matches and played in 229 sets the past four years. Her freshman season, she appeared at libero in 26 matches and also made a start. She has 334 digs for her career.
"Amanda shines with positivity in everything she does," said Coach Carlton. "She supports everyone around her and pushes her teammates to give more and work harder. Amanda exemplifies perfectly what it means to be a part of team and puts her teammates first, always."
Nothing exemplifies her teammate-first mentality as she has been named the SCAC Sportsmanship Team the past two seasons.
A psychology and sociology major at Centenary, she has appeared on the SCAC Scholar's List each of the first three seasons. Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and obtain her PhD in clinical psychology.
With Ladies Volleyball, her favorite memory is exploring Colorado with the team and also seeing her teammates do the "Amanda Farr wind-up" after getting an ace during the match against Mississippi University for Women.
Hailey Lawson will finish her Ladies Volleyball career with her name firmly in place in the Centenary record book. She holds the career record in aces with 201, surpassing the mark with Centenary's first serve in the match against Schreiner in the Gold Dome last season. Lawson also enters the weekend with 1,214 digs, two off from breaking the 13-year old record.
Lawson sits seventh with 719 career kills. Her sophomore season, she became the first player to record double-digit aces in a match in program history.
"Hailey's dedication to the volleyball program is so admirable," said Coach Carlton. "She is a leader on the floor both statistically and in her play. I have enjoyed watching Hailey grow over the past two seasons and know she will find success in anything she does.
Majoring in studio art and biology, she appeared on the Dean's List for the spring of 2018 semester. After graduation, she wishes to work as a wildlife biologist in the field of wildlife ecology and conservation. She also hopes to apply her studio art education to promote public awareness of wildlife ecology and conservation.
Her favorite Ladies Volleyball memories are the three records she has set during her career.
Shannon Orlopp has appeared in 96 matches and 260 sets entering the weekend, with nearly a kill per set average each of the last two seasons. In 2018, she is currently second on the team in hitting percentage this season.
"Shannon Orlopp has been such a joy to coach," explained Coach Carlton. "She excitedly does everything she is asked and is someone who is always on. No matter what her job is in any moment, she gives it her all. Shannon's versatility and eagerness to help the team in any role will truly be missed."
A biology major with a psychology minor, she made the SCAC Scholar's List following her sophomore season, also being named to the Dean's List in the fall of 2016. Orlopp is also in the Order of the Omega and has served on the executive council for Zeta Tau Alpha the last two years. Following graduation, she plans to obtain her master's degree in teaching from Centenary while also playing golf. After obtaining her graduate degree, she plans to move to Colorado and become a biology teacher and coach either golf or volleyball.
Orlopp's favorite memory with Ladies volleyball is all four trips to Colorado where the team got to explore the Garden of the Gods and having team dinners at her grandma's house, and other places around town, with her family.
Shyann Pisano has appeared in 111 matches and 288 sets, but is arguably having her best season in 2018. She has more than doubled her amount of career aces and digs, entering the weekend with 38 aces and 196 digs. She has also tallied her first collegiate double-double this season.
"Shyann is the epitome of a hard worker," said Coach Carlton. "She is willing to put in extra time and give more to ensure she is doing what she needs to for her team."
Pisano is majoring in neuroscience and biology with a minor in psychology. During her time at Centenary, she has been named to the Dean's List, the SCAC Scholar's List, Alpha Epsilon Delta, the Maroon Jackets, the Panhellenic Spirit, President of the Order of the Omega, Chi Omega, and is a Panhellenic Delegate. After graduation, Pisano plans to attend medical school and become a surgeon.
Pisano has two different favorite memories with Ladies Volleyball: her freshman season when the team stayed in cabins in Colorado and got to know each other, and this year when she started breaking records and appearing on the leaderboards for certain categories in the SCAC.
Finally, Makenzie Shaw has appeared in 114 matches and 324 sets. She has more than a kill per set in 3-of-4 seasons, including a career high 1.38 her senior year. For her four seasons, she has 328 kills and 286 digs.
"Makenzie's infectious energy make her the player she is. She has the ability to pump up her teammates and push them," said Coach Carlton.
Shaw is a psychology major with a minor in biology. At Centenary, she is in Zeta Tau Alpha and serves as the current historian. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in occupational therapy and attend graduate school.
Shaw's favorite memory with Ladies Volleyball was earlier this season with a win against Texas Lutheran. She said that is was just an amazing game with so much passion and positive energy after the tough loss in five sets against the Bulldogs last season. It was definitely a match she will not forget. Shaw also loves, and won't forget, all the memories she has made with her fellow Ladies Volleyball seniors the past four years.
With four teams also within two games of each other, the final conference weekend looks to be wild as Centenary could finish anywhere from the fourth seed to out of the SCAC Tournament. If the Ladies qualify, they will play at least a pair of matches next weekend at Dallas, November 2-4. Times and opponents are to be announced.