Ryan Mitchell put his Southlake Carroll volleyball program on notice in his Dragons coaching debut Monday.
Mitchell, who won five state titles at Lucas Lovejoy, said it’s time for Southlake to hand a state title banner of its own.
The Dragons started off on the right track, hammering home a 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 win over Richardson Pearce at Carroll’s gym.
It was the season debut for both teams.
“It’s my job to get us pointed in the right direction,” Mitchell said. “So as far as first games go, I wouldn’t call it a finished product, but it was a straight-set win against a good program. I’m not going to argue with that.”
Senior Madison Drescher had nine kills and five scoring blocks and sophomore Haley Hallgren had seven kills and three blocks as the Dragons laid out the early firepower in building an 18-13 Game 1 lead.
Drescher had four kills and three blocks in that run and showed that making the transition from middle blocker to outside hitter might be a productive change for the Dragons.
“I’ve been on her all summer because she has some goals and I told her if she wanted to play at the pen, she’s going to have to play some defense too,” Mitchell said. “When you make a change like that, it puts you in different positions on the floor, so you’ve got to stay focused on what you’re doing.”
The Dragons, who reached the Class 5A state semifinals last season, went on to force nine errors in Game 2 and Pearce couldn’t keep pace with Carroll’s offensive prowess.
Hallgren showed an ability to work in multiple roles, setting alongside McKenzie Brewer in Game 1 before working mainly as a hitter the rest of the way.
“We had three players, including Haley, play beach ball this summer and there’s always a little bit of a curve when you cross back over to the court game,” Mitchell said. “But she showed why she’s dynamic tonight. She can do a little bit of everything and each day they’re all getting acclimated again.”