• Centennial sophomore libero Casey Hendrixson was recently honored as the MVP on the All-District 9-5A volleyball team. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Centennial's Hendrixson honored as 9-5A MVP

The first district title in the history of Centennial’s volleyball program was earned in part due to the Lady Spartans sparkling defense.

The coaches of District 9-5A recognized that fact by honoring sophomore defensive specialist Casey Hendrixson as the Most Valuable Player on recently released all-district team.

The Lady Spartans went 12-2 in district to share the title with Cleburne. Centennial lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Midlothian to finish with a record of 20-23.

“We were very happy that Casey received MVP of the district,” Centennial coach Jessica Ranson said. “Defensive players don’t always get recognition because people like to see the huge play-ending kills or blocks.”

Hendrixson set a school record with 779 digs. She led the with aces at 45 and 788 serves received. The sophomore was also fourth on the team with 49 assists.

“She was a very good player for us and I’m happy that other coaches throughout the district saw her talent,” Ransom said. “Casey also broke the school record for digs so she has a lot to work for the next two years.”

Ransom was honored at the Coach of the Year, earned in part as the Spartans claimed their first district title. The honor came in Ransom’s second season as a head coach.

“Winning the first district title for volleyball at Centennial was so exciting,” Ransom said. “I am so proud of the girls and all their hard work. The season started off rough and it took a little while for us to get into rhythm. The girls never gave up and they kept working hard all season. They definitely earned it and I am so happy they left their mark on Centennial by being the first.”

The Lady Spartans produced a pair of first-team performers in junior middle blocker Zassmine Birdwell and junior righ side hitter Lauren Foster.

Ransom called Birdwell an athletic and dynamic player. Birdwell was strong defensively, leading the team in solo blocks (69), combo blocks (56) and total blocks (125), a new school record. The junior was second on the squad in kills (228), kill percentage (.35.7) and hitting percentage (.198).

“She jumps really well and is able to take care of the ball at the net both offensively and defensively,” Ransom said. “She really adjusted to the speed of the game before district started so she was able to be a force at the net.”

Foster was the Lady Spartans’ “silent assassin” thanks in part to huge shot selection, Ransom said.

“She has the ability to face one way and hit the ball a different way,” Ransom sad. “She took care of the ball for us offensively and often had very few errors. She is always one of the hardest workers in the gym and does everything that is asked without complaining. I am very happy she earned first team accolades.”

Foster finished the season with 160 kills with a 29.1 kill percentage and .184 hitting percentage.

Centennial had two second team players in senior outside hitter Makenna Dugan and senior setter Maddie Skaggs.

Honorable mention players for the Lady Spartans were junior outside hitter Ady Mize, senior middle blocker Allison Nolan and senior libero Carly Worthy.

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