Ladies add depth, versatility to roster
SHEVEPORT – After posting the highest single-season win total since 1999 last season, the Centenary volleyball squad is reloading for another successful campaign in 2012 with the addition of 10 newcomers.
The incoming class features nine incoming freshmen and one transfer.
“We’re very excited about this year’s class so far,” said head coach Jon Stenman, who is entering his third year at the helm. “Currently, with our 10 incoming freshmen, we’ve added a lot of depth and flexibility to our roster. There will be a lot of competition for the starting spots this year as we prepare for the challenge of playing in the nationally competitive SCAC.”
Emily Shelton is the lone transfer on the squad, joined by Katelyn Alexander, Lindsey Bruce, Sarah Irons, Shelby Jackson, Dallas Jagneaux, Lindsey Long, Christina NeSmith, Rachel Perkins and Kobi Stephens.\
“I look forward to watching these young ladies, along with the returning group, build a solid foundation for this year and years to come,” Stenman said. “The program is headed in the right direction and I look forward to seeing what these ladies accomplish both on the court, in the classroom, and around campus.”
Shelton is a 5-foot-9 sophomore transfer from Cisco College. The Richardson High School (Richardson, Texas) product played numerous positions for the Eagles, earning Best Defensive Player in 5A in 2010. She was a 2009 All-District Honorable Mention, followed by a 2010 Second-Team selection her junior year.
Alexander joins the Ladies from Silsbee High School (Beaumont, Texas). The 5-9 outside hitter helped lead the Tigers win their district in three of her four years, earning a playoff bid in those seasons. Alexander improved in each of her final three seasons at Silsbee, earning district honorable mention her sophomore year, Second-Team a year later before being named to the First-Team in her final year.
Bruce is a 5-11 commit who starred in volleyball and basketball in her high school career. She graduated from the International School of Manila after attending Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio. Bruce was named MVP and captain of both teams. In her first varsity match, she recorded 17 kills, one shy of the school record and helped lead her squad to a 17-9 mark her junior year.
Irons, a 5-10 southpaw, comes to Shreveport from Argyle High School. She graduated as Salutatorian and plans on becoming a radiologist following her career at Centenary. She led the Eagles to a 34-5 mark in 2010 before boasting a new school record 38-4 the following year. She was a two-year starting varsity letterman and a two-time Academic All-District.
Jackson is a 5-8 setter from Katy, Texas, where she attended Faith West Academy, helping the Eagles to the regional finals in her freshmen and junior years. She garnered Tournament MVP honors of the Living Stones Tournament and was named Athlete of the Week by the Houston Chronicle in her time as a Lady Eagle. Jackson was a First-Team All-District selection in her last two years at Faith West and was a Second-Team All-State pick her senior year.
Jagneaux, a 5-10 outside and right side hitter, helped St. Louis Catholic to five consecutive district championships from 2008-12. The Saints made the state semifinals four straight years, ending in 2011, and advanced to the state title game in 2011. Jagneaux was named to the LHSAA All-District First-Team in 2011 and capped her junior campaign with a selection to the LHSAA All-Star team.
Long, the only 6-footer of the bunch, just finished her stint at Redwater High School in Redwater, Texas. She collected 13 total letters during her high school career and was a decorated athlete. She was volleyball’s Newcomer of the Year as a junior, All-Area as a senior and an Academic All-District selection both years. During her senior year, she was named to the Academic All-State team, finishing high school with a 4.0 GPA. Her 13 total letters included volleyball (2), basketball (3), softball (4), track (1) and cheerleading (3).
NeSmith, a 5-11 middle blocker and right side hitter, is a Wylie High School (Dallas, Texas) product. She earned Academic All-District honors and helped the Pirates to the state playoffs in 2010. NeSmith plans on majoring in biology and psychology to eventually pursue a doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Perkins is a versatile 5-9 athlete who can play anywhere from setter to right side hitter to outside hitter. The Van Alstyne High School (Van Alstyne, Texas) product was All-District Server of the Year, Academic All-State and All-Texoma Land Honorable Mention, including Most Valuable Player of the Celina Tournament.
Stephens joins the Ladies roster from Forney High School in Forney, Texas, where she was a member of the Academic All-State Team last year. She earned Second-Team All-State honors by the Texas High School Coaches Association this season and was a All-District Honorable Mention her junior season. The 5-7 outside hitter can play most positions and helped the Jackrabbits to the 2010-11 Bi-District round of the playoffs.