Lady Dragons faced Arlington in quest for most wins in a season

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When your program has dropped only one match all season and hasn’t lost a set in the last two months, a coach has to be creative in finding ways to maintain the standard for his team.

Carroll volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield found enough in last Friday’s three-set win over El Paso Americas in the Class 5A area round in Odessa. And he used it to prepare for Arlington in Monday’s quarterfinal at Arlington Lamar High School.

The game was played after the press deadline; see for results.

Against Americas, the Lady Dragons (45-1) trailed 16-10 in the first set and 15-10 in the third before rallying to take control and win the match. They could probably thank senior middle blocker Timarie Nymeyer for keeping things from getting too dicey. Nymeyer had 20 kills and only one hitting error in 27 swings.

“[The struggles] might have been good for us,” Stanfield said. “We probably needed to struggle a little bit because not every match is going to go perfect. Whether it’s a bad call or a team gets hot, those are just things we need to react to.”

What’s been consistent throughout the season and the playoffs is that he has been receiving quality efforts from senior outside hitter Christen Sikora and senior libero Cat McCoy. Stanfield admitted he had not been playing them as much during the District 4-5A season because he wanted them for the playoff push. Setter Audrey Alford returned to the lineup Friday after dealing with concussion symptoms. She did not play against Lamar.

A team with the kind of depth Carroll has can afford to move the lineup around and give players rest and still not lose much, if anything, on the court.

It’s all fleeting

Of course, Carroll’s season could have ended Monday or will continue on Friday in the Class 5A Region I tournament in Glen Rose. Had Carroll won, the Lady Dragons would face the winner of Lewisville Hebron and Flower Mound in one semifinal.

But the season has reached a point where not dropping sets is secondary, and surviving to advance to the next round is primary.

Just like Americas, Carroll knows it has a target on its back because it is one of the big-name programs in the state. At the Arlington tournament in Arlington, the Lady Dragons defeated the Lady Colts in pool play, 25-11, 25-17.

“We just told them that when they walk into the arena, that team is going to want to beat you because if they do, then that would have made their season,” Stanfield said. “If we play hard and lose a set or something, we just have to relax and play our game.”

Carroll 5-0

Carroll has set single-school win total records in three consecutive seasons. In 2010, the Lady Dragons went 41-5. In 2011, they were 44-2. In 2012, they were 47-4. In order to equal last year’s total, the Lady Dragons have to advance to Saturday’s Region I title match.

Of course, if Carroll were to win a Class 5A state title, the Lady Dragons would have to win five more matches. They would have 50 wins for the year.

“Well, you can’t keep setting school record win totals each year,” Stanfield said. “But we also know what’s at stake each time we take the floor.”

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