McNeese’s Lynn Kennedy begins assembling women’s basketball coaching staff

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese women’s head basketball coach Lynn Kennedy began assembling his coaching staff with former Portland State staff members in Carly Meister and Ashley Bolston.

Meister spent four years with Kennedy at Portland State, serving the last three years as an assistant coach. In her first year at Portland State, Meister served as the Vikings’ Director of Basketball Operations.

“Carly has been part of our program for many years, she knows what it means to play and coach in our system,” said head coach Lynn Kennedy. “She brings a wealth of basketball knowledge, with specialties in post skill development and recruiting. Carly is energetic and passionate about basketball, which comes out in her coaching. She will be a valuable addition to our coaching staff.”

In her first year as full-time assistant coach at PSU, she helped lead the Vikings to the program’s best Division I season.

Meister was part of a Vikings team that won only their second Big Sky tournament title during the 2018-19 season, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for only the second time in program history. The 2018-19 team also made history while going 25-8 overall, the most wins in a season during the program’s Big Sky era. The Vikings also tied Big Sky era records for home wins (14) and Big Sky wins (14) and set a new Big Sky era record for road winning percentage (.615).

In four seasons at Portland State, Meister helped the Vikings advance to the Big Sky Tournament semifinals in 2018 and the quarterfinals in 2020 and 2021, in addition to the 2019 tournament title.

Meister spent the 2016-17 season as an assistant coach at Centralia College where she helped lead the Trailblazers to an 18-11 overall record and an 11-3 regional record, which qualified them for the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament.

She played collegiately at Southern Oregon where she was coached by Kennedy for three seasons. The three-time All-Cascade Collegiate Conference selection was named CCC Freshman of the Year in 2012-13. In 2015-16, Meister helped the Raiders to the NAIA National Championship game and was named an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.

The Elma, Wash. native was a two-time All-State selection at Elma High School where she averaged 24 points and 15 rebounds per game for her career.

Bolston served as Portland State’s women’s basketball video coordinator last year following a stellar playing career with the Vikings.

In three years at Portland State, she was a three-time All-Big Sky selection, named to the Big Sky All-Tournament team three times, and was two-time Academic All-Big Sky, a member of the 2019 NCAA Tournament team, and garnered several weekly honors throughout her career.

In 2017, Bolston was named the Big Sky Top Newcomer and in 2019 she was named the Big Sky Tournament MVP.

Bolston ended her career at PSU ranked in the Top 10 in seven categories including ranking ninth in career points with 1,334 points and eighth in career scoring average (14.8 ppg.). She also ranks in the Top 10 in free throws made and attempted, free throw percent, assists, and steals.

In her final season at PSU (2019), she averaged 12.6 ppg., 5.1 rpg. and led the Vikings in scoring as a junior with 16.6 ppg. while shooting 42.6 percent from the floor.

The native of Medford, Oregon, Bolston was a McDonald’s All-American nominee while at South Medford High School where she was rated three stars by ESPN.com and ranked the No. 106 overall prospect in the country by girlsbasketballreport.com. The Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference Player of the Year ended her high school career as the winningest high school player in school history with a 101-16 mark.

“We are so excited that Ashley will be part of our coaching staff. She was the top player in the state coming out of high school, and throughout her playing career, Ashley demonstrated why she was one of the best players in the nation, leading Portland State to the NCAA tournament. She is one of the best in scouting breakdown and strategy and she understands player development. Ashley’s championship and coaching experience will be an excellent addition.”

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