Carroll’s blowout of Hurst L.D. Bell in its District 7-6A volleyball opener this past Friday could be indicative of what’s to come for the majority of the district season.
There appears to be some major separation between the Lady Dragons and Coppell and the other five teams. Carroll (29-3, 1-0) handled L.D. Bell, 25-6, 25-8, 25-12, and likely will be able to deliver similar types of performances against Richland and Haltom this week.
Couple these with a bye on Sept. 22 and there should be time for this program to keep fine-tuning fundamentals and making sure players are sound with form. There’s also time to rest players who are dealing with injuries.
That centers on junior outside hitter Rachel Meyne, who has been beset by an ankle injury. Carroll head coach Ryan Mitchell did not play her against L.D. Bell and didn’t plan on playing her this week.
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But before district play started, Mitchell didn’t like the way his team played in its final non-district match against Northwest Byron Nelson on Sept. 8. Although the Lady Dragons swept the match, their caliber of play didn’t exactly enthrall Mitchell.
Before the district opener, Mitchell visited with each player to review individual goals and what’s expected as the second season began.
“This team was ready for the challenge,” Mitchell said. “I was very impressed. I know Bell was not as talented. But we played a very clean and fast match. We hit .500 for the match. It was like we took a deep breath and began the second part of the year. It’s definitely part of what I was looking for.”
Recently, Mitchell promoted junior libero Sydney Hindes from the junior varsity to the varsity and started her against L.D. Bell. Whether or not that continues is unknown. But Mitchell liked what he saw.
“We’ve been struggling on our serve receive, and I wanted to create a little competition,” Mitchell said. “The thing I saw from her was just the consistency. That’s what you want from any defensive player. It was just a sample size. But she’s a really calm player and doesn’t let anything get to her.”
▪ Mitchell maintained that he’s going to keep rotating the 5-1 and 6-2 alignments. Basically, Mitchell is going to evaluate this situation match-to-match and set-to-set. It would depend on the match-ups. Mitchell said if it continues to go well, he probably wouldn’t mind doing it in the postseason.
▪ So far, the offense has been pretty balanced between Megan Porter, Haley Hallgren and Remy Fairchild. However, Mitchell is still looking for an opportunity for all three to be playing well simultaneously. There have been times when two of the three have been playing well.
▪ Carroll is using real-time feedback to let players know how they performing as a match is unfolding. Mitchell said the coaching staff is using a chart to show players where they are in terms of pursuing certain goals in sets and matches and for the season. It can serve as a form of motivation, Mitchell said.