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    Centennial varsity volleyball assistant coach Lauren Roberts talks to varsity players before a serving drill Tuesday morning. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE
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    Centennial volleyball players go through a conditioning test during the first day of volleyball practice Tuesday morning. The Lady Spartans open play Aug. 8 at home against Saginaw Chisholm Trail. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Off-season work could payoff for Lady Spartans

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Graduation hurt Centennial’s volleyball program with eight key players departing. However, the cupboard isn’t bare for Lady Spartans’ coach Jessica Ransom.

Tuesday, Centennial opened volleyball practices with skill tests in the morning and court work in the afternoon.

The Lady Spartans are slated to play an alumni game tonight at 6:30 p.m. Centennial scrimmages Friday at Mansfield Lake Ridge and Saturday at Euless Trinity.

The season opens Tuesday at home against Saginaw Chisholm Trail at 6:30 p.m. On Aug. 10-12, the Lady Spartans play at the Mansfield Varsity Tournament.

The returning players dedicated themselves to getting strong and in the proper condition for the rigors of the season.

“I’m excited about the players coming back,” Ransom said. “We’ve had a year for them to know what I expect from them. They have all worked hard to prepare for this season. I’m excited to see their hard work pay off.”

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.

“We have strong senior group, but I also see some sophomores and junior who are going to step up and see more playing time and have a huge impact this season,” Ransom said.

The work the players put in during the strength and conditioning camp was obvious to Ransom.

Several players didn’t miss a day and there were some who missed four days or less which was the goal for the program.

“I know several volleyball players whose focus was getting into the weight room and getting strong,” Ransom said. “They wanted to come back in good shape. I’m proud of them because it is hard to spend your summer waking up early every morning. We had a ton of girls who were dedicated to do that. I think they will see that work pay off during the fitness tests this week and tryouts.”

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