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Starting setter Paris Perret quits MSU volleyball program


Mississippi State volleybal coach Jenny Hazelwood talking to setter Paris Perret during a match in 2011. Perret informed the coaching staff Monday she was quitting the program.

Mississippi State volleybal coach Jenny Hazelwood talking to setter Paris Perret during a match in 2011. Perret informed the coaching staff Monday she was quitting the program. Photo by: MSU athletics


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Paris Perret has informed the Mississippi State University coaching staff of her intention to quit the volleyball program. 


The junior setter, who was on pace to finish second all-time in school history in career assists, had a meeting with MSU head coach Jenny Hazelwood and MSU Senior Associate Athletic Director for Women's Sports Ann Carr Monday to discuss her reasons for leaving the team.  


"I feel like the person that came to me and said I'm quitting is not somebody I've seen in two-and-a-half years," Hazelwood said. "When she comes in and says I used to love volleyball and she doesn't anymore because of me, that's not something any coach wants to hear." 


In a text message to The Dispatch, Perret declined to discuss the matter any further.  


Perret, who was the first setter MSU signed under the leadership of Hazelwood, had multiple struggles with the relationship with her head coach since ranking fourth in the Southeastern Conference with 1,024 assists, becoming the second MSU freshman all-time to reach the 1,000-assist mark in a season. 


"For her to go from everything is great and I want to lead this team to I'm just so miserable that I want to quit just doesn't make any sense," Hazelwood said. "She would say the words I've had coaches in club yell at me and that doesn't bother me. That's what she would say but she didn't want to be held personally accountable to be the best she can. I had to think to myself 'Am I doing her a disservice as a coach by allowing her to continue being below average, not even average at times." 


Perret was the starting setter for the Bulldogs in 27 of 29 matches last year as a sophomore becoming the sixth MSU player to reach the 2,000-assist career milestone. The 5-foot-10 junior from Frisco, Texas was one of one of three upperclassmen on the roster in 2012 and being asked to provide much more of a leadership role to Hazelwood's rebuilding project at her alma mater.  


"I've had to learn a lot my first two years here and I'm ready to lead this team and I understand now what that takes," Perret said in a Aug. 8. "(Hazelwood) has always wanted a lot out of me and it's just time now. My job is to get others to greatness." 


The Bulldogs have lost 10 of their last 12 matches in 2012 most recently including being swept 25-14, 25-9, 25-18 to No. 12 Florida in Starkville Sunday. MSU gone through an eight-game SEC losing streak last year and have lost the first five conference matches in 2012.  


The loss of Perret, who will remain on scholarship till the end of the fall semester, will mean freshman Taylor Hackemack will get her second career start on the floor but first ever at setter when MSU (4-10, 0-5) travels to Auburn University Friday night for a 6:30 p.m. match.  


Hackemack's father, Ken, played football at the University of Texas under former MSU head coach Darrell Royal and for multiple seasons in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.  


Hackemack's backup will likely be sophomore walk-on Rachel Williams but the Madison, Ala., native is still trying to complete her rehabilitation from a severe ankle injury that required surgery this offseason. 


"With Taylor, her dad played in the NFL for several years and she has said she asked her dad how he handled his first year in college," Hazelwood said. "She has been raised to be a tough kid and a worker. For some of the experience things that Paris would bring, Taylor is going to bring that heart to the court and her teammates will want to play with her. She cares and that's going to go a long way." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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