The Carroll volleyball team is coming off of an incredibly strong 2013 campaign, and first-year coach Ryan Mitchell said that the objective for this season is to pick up right where it left off.
The Lady Dragons reached the state semifinals last season, and after observing his team in practice this summer, Mitchell said he feels things are shaping up well for another long playoff run.
“It's been good so far,” Mitchell said. “It's my first year there, so getting to work with them a little bit in the spring and then open gyms in the summer, and doing summer camps this past week, things are looking good. I think it is going to be a good year for us.”
Mitchell said the goals this season for the Lady Dragons are essentially two-fold.
“I think we measure a successful season by figuring out if we can match our potential,” Mitchell said. “We have to figure out what the potential is for this team, and then try to match that. They are coming off of a state semifinals appearance, and so that is our goal again, is to get back to the tournament.”
Mitchell said his stronger returning players include Madison Drescher, Mykah Wilson, Kelsey Walter, Paige Panter, Meghan Porter, Elizabeth Augustini, Hayley Hallgren and McKenzie Brewer.
The Lady Dragons have three returning starters from last year's team.
Carroll finds itself in a new district following realignment, and Mitchell said he expects tough competition night in and night out.
“I don't think you have to look any further than our district to find probably the best teams in the state, with Coppell and Colleyville Heritage,” Mitchell said. “They are going to be at the top of their game again. The district is going to be tough this year year, and it's going to battle test us for the postseason.”
Mitchell said to repeat on the type of season the Lady Dragons had last year, it will take a couple of things from the Carroll volleyball community.
“I think it is going to take a group of parents and kids to buy into what a new coach is bringing into the system,” Mitchell said. “The quicker that happens and everybody is on board with what we are trying to do, the quicker we can present a unified front and get back to where they were last year, and hopefully even better.”