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    Centennial’s volleyball team won the Bronze Division title at the Mansfield ISD Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Invitational over the weekend.  BURLESON STAR/COURTESY PHOTO

Lady Spartans claim Bronze division crown

After getting off to a slow start at the Mansfield ISD Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Invitational, Centennial’s volleyball team found its groove Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Spartans rolled through the Bronze Division Saturday with two straight victories to bring home the trophy.

“After the first day of the tournament we played a lot better and improved in a lot of areas,” Centennial coach Julie Williams said. “We got better as the tournament went on but we still have a lot of improvements to make.”

Centennial defeated Mansfield Summit, 25-19, 25-22 to reach the title game. The Lady Spartans then downed Euless Trinity, 25-21, 27-25, to win the bronze championship.

Junior outside hitter Kelsey Hutchins was named to the all-tournament team.

“Our effort and attitude was better on the last two days of the tournament,” Williams said. “Those were probably the main things that happened over those two days.”

The tournament was a change of pace for many of the players who were on Centennial’s junior varsity last season.

Williams said the talent is there to be a good team, they just need to gain confidence and get more playing time together.

“I think it is just going to take some time to put people in the right spot where they need to go,” Williams said. “Figuring that out and what works best for the team is just a puzzle that we need to figure out. We are just trying to get everybody on the same page.”

Williams praised the play of sophomore middle blocker Anissa Zaragoza and senior libero Haley Hunnicut. Williams said Hunnicut’s passing got better as the tournament progressed.

Centennial opened the tournament Thursday with losses to Mansfield, 25-9, 25-8 and Hereford, 25-20, 25-16. The Lady Spartans topped Mansfield Lake Ridge’s JV, 25-20, 25-20, in the game on Thursday.

Friday, Centennial sandwiched losses to Keller Central, 25-14, 25-8, and Canyon, 19-25, 25-12, 25-14 with a victory over North Crowley, 25-22, 26-28, 25-22.

Tuesday night, Centennial lost at Mansfield, 25-23, 25-10, 25-12.

The Lady Spartans open pool play today at the Granbury Tournament with matches against  Abilene Wylie, Amarillo Tascosa and Soccoro Pebble Hills.

Centennial plays its first home game of the season Tuesday against Godley.

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