At this rate, the Carroll volleyball program is not going to experience defeat this year. Given the way the Lady Dragons have dominated through the first two weeks, Carroll has proven itself worthy as the state’s Class 6A No. 1 team.
The Lady Dragons began this week 18-0. They claimed the Northwest ISD tournament this past weekend and defeated Denton Guyer in the championship game. Junior outside hitter Megan Porter was named to the all-tournament team.
“It’s been a pretty incredible run,” head coach Ryan Mitchell said. “To be clicking like this is not at all easy. We had to go through the gauntlet of the Pearland tournament. The kids had to learn a new system and what I expected. Plus, we’re still feeling each other out. It’s a tribute to them what we’ve accomplished so far.
“Their being open to a new way really helps. The girls are having fun, and sometimes winning breeds winning.”
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And Carroll is overpowering the competition. Through the first 18 matches – the team played Little Elm on Tuesday – the Lady Dragons had dropped only three sets.
Then consider that the talent and participation numbers in the program are arguably at unprecedented levels. The junior varsity squad won the Lewisville varsity tournament this past weekend. The JV was also scheduled to play another varsity match, Tuesday against the new Frisco Independence.
“The girls live in a community where excellence is expected,” Mitchell said. “You mix that and the talent level along with the hours of training they put in, and you have the perfect storm for your program to be at a high level.”
Senior outside hitters Madison Drescher (shoulder) and Paige Panter (broken toe) either didn’t play all or most of the week last week because of their nagging ailments.
Drescher’s tight shoulder was just a case of use over the course of the club and high school volleyball seasons. Panter’s was more precautionary. Mitchell said that he’s resting both now so they will have a chance to be healthy for the remainder of the season.
It also doesn’t hurt that this team has incredible depth. Mitchell called up junior Remy Fairchild from the JV this past weekend to replace Drescher. All the 6-0 power hitter did was lead the team in kills several matches during the NISD tournament.
“When we brought her up, I told her I wasn’t sure where this was going to lead but that we were looking for the best fit and the program needed her,” Mitchell said. “She was ready and her performance spoke to her taking advantage of it.”
Mitchell said he continues to evaluate Drescher and Panter and will determine later in the week if they will play in the Plano tournament. He did not anticipate them playing Tuesday against Little Elm.
Carroll’s varsity roster has 16 spots. Although that might be a little bigger than what Mitchell normally uses during a high school season – he usually keeps 13 or 14 – he’s fine with it this year, because this team has nine seniors. It will give the underclassmen a chance to gain varsity experience and be prepared for the 2015 season.