Southlake Carroll will tap into reserves in state quest

Posted Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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To hear Southlake Carroll volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield tell it, he feels as though his program left some unfinished business on the table when the Dragons were ousted from the playoffs in 2011.

Carroll will take the floor Friday in a state semifinal at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland for the first time since 1998, and the Dragons (46-1) do so with perhaps its deepest team since Stanfield became coach in 2009.

Five of Carroll’s hitters have 199 kills or more this season and another has 113. That kind of depth is a luxury afforded to few teams.

“At the Class 4A level, there were seasons where I had two good hitters and we had plenty of success,” said Stanfield, who led 4A Red Oak to state titles in 1992, ’95 and 2002. “But here, you’ve got to have more than that if you want to get to where we’re at.”

For Carroll, Stanfield said the increased presence of talent on the bench has been the driving force for starters to play better. That’s something, said Stanfield, who has spent 30 years teaching the game, that has changed the dynamics of coaching.

In 2011, Carroll was 42-1, but lost a second-round playoff match to Grapevine. Stanfield said he didn’t trust his bench enough to substitute for players having an off night. That decision, he said, cost Carroll an opportunity perhaps to compete and advance.

“We had at least one player not playing very well and I was afraid to take her out of the game because I didn’t feel like we had a player that could be a game changer,’ he said. “This year, we have enough weapons that’s not an issue. I think our third outside hitter is just as strong as our top two and it means these girls know they have to continue to play at a strong level or they may come out.

“If we get into a third set and someone’s played consistently bad, we may pull them out and let someone else have a shot at it.”

As of Wednesday, Stanfield said senior libero and Texas commit Cat McCoy was questionable for Friday’s semifinal due to illness.

“I’d like to have her, no doubt about it,” Stanfield said. “But if she’s not able to go or we have to put her in a defensive position to give her additional rest, we have another Division I prospect ready to step in.”

That would be senior Kori Ortiz, headed to Arkansas next season. She has 232 digs, about 40 percent of McCoy’s 563 for the season.

But Ortiz is every bit as fit to fill that role if need be.

“We work a lot in practice and in games on working within different situations and different lineups,” outside hitter Timarie Nymeyer said. “As much as we work on that, if someone hurts an ankle or something happens, we don’t skip a beat.”

Stanfield conceded that with the depth, if he split up the team evenly, the Dragons could field two strong varsity squads.

Southlake Carroll's big hitters

Southlake Carroll’s depth allows the Dragons to use their bench extensively. The top 12 Dragons by statistical rankings:

PlayerClassCollegeClub team
Christen SikoraSr.FurmanTexas Advantage
Timarie NymeyerSr.No. ColoradoTexas Advantage
Cat McCoySr.TexasTexas Advantage
Kori OrtizSr.ArkansasTejas
Madison DrescherJr.OklahomaTexas Advantage
Haley HallgrenFr.undecidedTexas Advantage
Katie MartinSr.St. Edward’sTexas Advantage
Megan PorterSo.undecidedSkyline
Audrey AlfordJr.OklahomaTexas Advantage
Mykah WilsonJr.undecidedTexas Advantage
Lillian RileySr.undecidedTejas
McKenzie BrewerJr.Stephen F. AustinMadFrog

Class 5A state semifinals

Curtis Culwell Center, Garland

Southlake Carroll vs. San Antonio Churchill

5 p.m. Friday

Records: Carroll 46-1, San Antonio Churchill 46-2

Notable: Carroll’s only loss this season has been to The Woodlands. The Dragons haven’t lost a set since that match, including a perfect run in district play and the playoffs. Sophomore Abby Buckingham leads Churchill in kills with 733 this season.

The Woodlands vs. League City Clear Falls

7 p.m. Friday

Records: Woodlands 43-0, Clear Falls 40-6

Notable: Four players have over 200 kills for The Woodlands, including senior Madison McDaniel with 432. The Highlanders have lost only two sets all year long. Clear Falls lost to The Woodlands in nondistrict play earlier this season. Junior Alyssa Enneking leads the Knights with 854 kills this season.

Class 3A state semifinals

Curtis Culwell Center, Garland

Decatur vs. Big Spring

1 p.m. Friday

Records: Decatur 39-7, Big Spring 32-13

Notable: A nice measurement on how good Decatur is came in a tournament match against 5A state semifinalist Southlake Carroll this season. The Eagles lost 25-27 in one set, staying step for step with the powerful Dragons. Decatur has won 14 straight since a four-set loss to Argyle. That includes a playoff win over Argyle. Big Spring’s Morgan Seaton comes into the semifinal with 395 kills on the season.

Bellville vs. College Station

3 p.m. Friday

Records: Bellville 40-7, College Station 31-11

Notable: Four players have over 150 kills this season for College Station, including Mary Pettibon with 296. Junior Ashleigh Traylor leads Bellville with 482 kills and the Brahmas have seven matches that have stretched more than three sets. Bellville is 4-3 in those matches.

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