Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 14, 2014

Joining the Ladies

Hilliard heads to Louisiana to play volleyball

Athens — Athens senior Elizabeth Hilliard said she is ready to prove herself at Centenary College in Louisiana in the fall after declaring to play volleyball on Monday.

“It will definitely be a culture shock,” Hilliard said. “I want to come out there and surprise people since they will not know me and I am excited for the opportunity.”

The Ladies volleyball  team looks to rebound from a 5-28 record and a 1-13 finish in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play last year.

“I think I can adjust well in college,” Hilliard said. “We have a new coach that is working on team stuff and she is all set this year to have us all together. “I love the coach. She is perfect for me.”

They bring in a player in Hilliard who was named to the 2013 Athens Daily Review All-Henderson County first team.

Hilliard finished 2013 with 60 kills, eight aces and 45 digs as an outside hitter for coach Liz Ramsey.

“I am really proud of Elizabeth and her accomplishments, not only this year but as she moves on to college, and I can’t wait to see the great things she does while she’s there,” Ramsey said.

Hilliard was an Academic All-District performer four straight years and was named Freshman of the Year at Athens High School. She graduated with her associates degree from Trinity Valley Community College on Friday and plans to major in Pre-Med at Centenary.

She will be heading to Centenary College with her club teammate and new roommate in Brownsboro's Bailey McDonald.

Hilliard said McDonald played a role in her coming to Shreveport in the fall.

“My roommate is one of my best friends and she is on my club team,” Hilliard said “The coach came and watched us play and asked me if I had talked with anyone. She told me we have our first summer program and so I came up there with Bailey and did the workout and the practice. Everyone said they wanted me to be a part of the team so I have been going up there almost every weekend and have been playing with them.”

Coach Caley Carter said in a story on the Centenary College website that Elizabeth brings athleticism to the team.

“Elizabeth is in the unique position of coming to Centenary as a junior academically, having graduated high school in January and taken so many college credits,” Carter said. “She primarily plays back row and can hit as well, if needed. Bailey and Elizabeth have spent this winter playing on the same club team.”

Athens athletic director Paul Essary congratulated Elizabeth on the signing.

“Anytime any of our student-athletes get the opportunity (to go on to college) we are very proud,” Essary said. “It is an honor, not only for you but your family, the Athens Lady Hornets and the athletic program, along with the community. We are excited for you and proud of you and know you will do great things and make Athens proud. Congratulations to you and your family.”

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