Lady Dragons make statement with Lovejoy sweep

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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If anything was learned in Carroll’s sweep of Frisco Lovejoy last Friday, it is that the Lady Dragons’ depth might be the best that the program has ever enjoyed.

Carroll snapped a three-match losing streak to Lovejoy. On top of that, it won all three sets impressively without having either junior setter Audrey Alford or senior outside hitter Katie Martin. The two collided and bumped heads in the district finale Oct. 29 against Keller Timber Creek.

Coach Arthur Stanfield said Martin was cleared of her concussion, but Alford was not. Realizing the bigger picture, Stanfield chose not to play Martin.

“If you were to tell me that we could sweep a really good team like Lovejoy without our best setter and second-best outside hitter, I would say that’s pretty impressive,” Stanfield said. “We have a lot of depth and options. We can play different liberos and four different setters. We can go three middle blockers and four outside hitters. Really, we didn’t miss a beat.”

Stanfield said he expected Martin to play in Tuesday’s Class 5A Region I bi-district opener against Arlington Lamar at Keller Central. Alford’s status would be determined on how she did in Monday’s practice. But even if she was cleared, Stanfield said he was considering holding her out because the Lady Dragons would have the decided talent edge over Lamar. Junior McKenzie Brewer played in place of Alford against Lovejoy and performed well, Stanfield said. He also played freshman Haley Hallgren in Martin’s absence.

Carroll finished the regular season at 43-1 and swept through District 4-5A at 14-0. Instead of giving the team this past Saturday off – a promise he made if the team went 14-0 and won all 42 possible matches – Stanfield chose to give the team Saturday, Oct. 26 off because he wanted to set the postseason routine.

Drescher on the mend

The most-watched right shoulder on Highway 1709 seems to be OK, from what Stanfield can tell. He said junior middle blocker Madison Drescher appears to be on the other side of the sore shoulder that she had been dealing with for the latter half of the regular season.

Drescher led the team with nine kills in the win over Lovejoy and her strength is returning. A healthy Drescher really fortifies the middle of the Carroll defense and changes the complexion of how imposing that offense can be. Stanfield has called her the best player on what is already a very talented team.

“She really looked good on Tuesday and Friday,” he said. “There was faster arm speed, and she’s been pretty diligent about getting treatment for the shoulder. It was just a case of overuse.”

The playoff message

Should Carroll have taken care of Lamar on Tuesday (results at dfwvarsity.com), the Lady Dragons would advance to the area round to face either El Paso Americas or Lubbock Coronado. Stanfield said no preliminary plans had been made with either team.

However, expect the Lady Dragons to go west to either the likely destinations of Abilene, Midland or Odessa.

While this team has ambitions of winning the 5A state championship, that’s not what Stanfield preached to his team.

“The only thing we’re trying to do is win three matches and get to the regional tournament,” he said. “Once we’re there, we’ll take our chances. It’s just one match at a time.”

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