Lady Dragons playing close to perfection

Posted Monday, Sep. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Carroll’s volleyball program is about six points shy of having a perfect 34-0 record.

The Lady Dragons are 33-1, with the one loss coming in a pool play loss to The Woodlands in the Pearland Tournament. Carroll and The Woodlands split the first two sets. In the deciding third set, the teams were tied 17-17 when The Woodlands ran off three consecutive points to pull away and wound up winning 25-21.

Thus, The Woodlands is undefeated and No. 1 in the Texas High School Coaches Association Poll. Carroll is No. 2.

“It really was a great match,” Carroll coach Arthur Stanfield said. “I don’t think The Woodlands is going to lose in the regular season.”

The streak update

Following their wins against Justin Northwest and Keller Central, the Lady Dragons (5-0 in District 4-5A) ran their consecutive winning streak to 25. They played at Keller on Tuesday (see for results) and play at Keller Timber Creek on Friday.

You read that right. Tuesday’s match was originally scheduled to be played at Carroll, but Stanfield was trying to line up the district schedules to match volleyball and football home dates. Admittedly, he said, he goofed on the Keller match.

“I don’t know what happened because I thought I read it right,” he said. “But I just decided to keep the schedule the way it was.”

In the match against Northwest, one of the first two sets was tighter. Stanfield has made it known that he would play his starters in the first two sets and then bring his reserves in to play the third game unless the match became a struggle.

Stanfield visited with his assistant coach and decided to use his reserves for the third game. That group wound up winning.

“I have a good feeling about the young kids,” Stanfield said. “There’s just some confidence in them. It’s not like I’m rolling the dice, because if we run into some problems, I can always sub in a senior.”

A different kind of 50

Currently, the Carroll program has 55 players in it. There are 17 on the varsity roster if you include junior outside hitter Maiya Burns, who is out with a knee injury – there’s still some hope she can return by the playoffs – 15 on the junior varsity, and 23 between the two freshman teams.

That’s pretty standard for what Stanfield has had since he arrived five years ago. Back in 2009, there was a policy that if a senior had been in the program throughout, she was guaranteed a spot on the varsity. Stanfield honored that but he also said he was going to probably have maybe 20 players on that first varsity roster because he wanted to have the best athletes on the top squad. He ordered 20 uniforms.

There were 10 seniors in that first group but only two played club. Of course, Stanfield can’t make anyone play club. But it’s pretty much a given that if you aren’t playing club, then your chances of playing are curtailed because so many other players are.

Well, time played out and several of those seniors weeded themselves out to where that Carroll team had 15 on the varsity roster.

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