Lady Dragons on another winning streak

Posted Monday, Sep. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It’s nothing new to this program, but when it comes to winning streaks, the Lady Dragons volleyball team can sure rattle them off in extended fashion.

Following their win at the Arlington Invitational tournament last weekend, Carroll (26-1) had won 19 consecutive matches. But that’s not close to the 37-match winning streak the Lady Dragons had in 2011, before they fell in the area round of the Class 5A playoffs. That team took a 44-1 record into the playoffs before Grapevine pulled off the upset.

Of course, when streaks grow like this, they can become the dominant story. Every opponent is aware of it and wants to be the group that ends it. Carroll coach Arthur Stanfield has been through this many times in his career.

He knows what this group is capable of doing and isn’t shy expressing it, as long as it plays up to expectations.

“We’ll have a tough match at Richardson Pearce (Sept. 10),” Stanfield said. “But we shouldn’t lose a match for a while. We also have a tough warm-up match against [Fricso] Lovejoy on Nov. 1. But for us, we’re not focusing in on the winning or the losing. We’re trying to play at a certain level. And if we play like we’re supposed to play, it’s going to take a great effort by somebody to beat us.”

That’s the kind of talk that you would expect from a coach who believes his team is a state championship contender.

“This is a great group of kids,” he said. “Our goal is to win a state title. We understand that it might not happen. But that’s the goal. Anything less than that would be disappointing.”

A great stumble

While he was working with a solid 11-player rotation at the Arlington tournament, Stanfield found some combinations that would keep players fresh.

In one case, when he had senior outside hitter Katie Martin in the front, he would move junior outside hitter Mykah Wilson to the back row. Then he would flip the two as the game flowed. He would then use senior libero Kori Ortiz in a serving role freshman outside hitter Haley Hallgren. And senior libero Cat McCoy would spell senior outside hitter Christen Sikora for two rotations.

This appears to be the way Stanfield will keep this until further notice. Besides keeping this team fresh for the balance of the season, it appears he wants players to know their roles as this group makes a serious push for a state championship.

“We have all 11 players who have bought into this,” he said. “The only way this might change is with an injury or somebody else on the roster could make a push and change the thinking.”

Notable

Speaking of Martin (sprained ankle), Stanfield said she continues to make solid progress on a full recovery. While she is playing, there is still some discomfort. But on a scale of 1-10 on health, Stanfield called her an eight … Sophomore middle blocker Elizabeth Augustini (sprained ankle) hasn’t played since Aug. 15, but Stanfield is hoping she will can play by the Richardson Pearce match … At the Arlington tournament, McCoy was named tournament MVP, Sikora earned outstanding attacker honors and senior middle blocker Timarie Nymeyer was named to the all-tournament team … As for some statistical leaders, Nymeyer leads with 133 kills, Sikora has 131 and Drescher 127. McCoy has 351 digs.

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