Lady Dragons try to keep edge in march to playoffs

Posted Monday, Oct. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Carroll volleyball’s march toward the postseason continued last week with methodical victories over Keller Fossil Ridge and Richland.

The Lady Dragons (37-1, 9-0 in District 4-5A) should have clinched their playoff spot this week. While teams always appreciate the significance, it just comes with the territory.

If you want to call it a hiccup, the Lady Dragons struggled in their third set against Richland on Friday. The Lady Dragons won the set 25-18. By the way, Carroll has won 27 district sets without a loss.

“The first two sets [against Richland] we took care of and played really well,” Carroll coach Arthur Stanfield said. “But in the third set, we just had some things that were out of character with some mistakes. We’ll learn from it.”

It’s widely known that Stanfield will play his starters in the first two sets because he wants them in position to be ready for the postseason. He’s also doing some shifting between setters and outside hitters. When one plays one set, the other will play the next.

Carroll’s been in this mode for the first two months of the season because the goal is to play in the state tournament in Garland.

Drescher’s transition

Junior middle blocker Madison Drescher continues to adjust from middle blocker to outside hitter.

Stanfield said the biggest adjustment she has to make is to move around on the court more. That includes digs and trying for free balls. Usually, middle blockers have two assignments – kill or block plays at the net.

“She’s getting more comfortable and understands that there has to be more touches,” Stanfield said. “That takes some getting used to. But the only way you’re going to get there is to do it with more and more reps. We have some time for her to become even more comfortable with this.”

Breaking a sweat?

The Lady Dragons have usually jumped on these matches so quickly they’ve rarely had to fight to hang on to winning sets, much less matches.

What bothers Stanfield is that some of this is coming without working, and that’s causing a little regression in the team’s conditioning. It may sound odd, but coaches are always checking to make sure their teams don’t lose their edge.

“We’re winning without conditioning,” Stanfield said. “We’re not getting the reps because there are not a lot of long rallies. That means there’s not a lot of playing time. But at the same time, that’s where bad habits can surface. We can probably get away with things when we win 25-10, but we may not if we’re trying to get to the regional tournament. That’s what I remind them.”

Notable

The Lady Dragons remain No. 2 in the Texas High School Coaches Association Class 5A poll … Middle blockers Elizabeth Augustini and Kelsey Walter hit over .500 in Friday’s match against Richland … The early read for Carroll’s bi-district playoff opponent in District 3-5A could either come from Weatherford or North Crowley.

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