Senior players have one last chance to achieve the goals they set, and for the senior volleyball players at Carroll, they’re looking back.
For players who were a part of the varsity team as sophomores, players like Megan Porter think back to that season as a benchmark.
That season, the Lady Dragons went to the state semifinals.
Last year wasn’t a shabby outcome, either, though, as Carroll went to the regional semifinals.
“I want to be back there,” Porter said of her sophomore campaign. “I want to get back to the state championship. It’s motivation to make it this year.”
Porter said she is using that state semifinals appearance as a vision for how she and her teammates want this year to play out.
Heading into last Friday’s district opener with L.D. Bell, the Lady Dragons were 27-4 and appear to be just as prepared as two years ago.
With the steady play of players such as Porter, the return trip to the state playoffs may be more than a fond wish.
Porter, a 6-1 outside hitter, said the team is still coming together but getting better with each practice and every week’s games.
The athleticism of Porter allows for her to also play on the right side, but she doesn’t care where she’s positioned, as long as Carroll is winning.
“I’ve been an outside hitter and also have played the right side,” she said, “but I feel I’m pretty interchangeable. I can play both pins. If I have a preference, it’s the outside, but as long as the team is getting the job done, I will play any position they want me to play,” Porter said with a laugh.
Porter’s style of play is that of a solid hitter.
“I’m mostly a swinger,” Porter said, scouting herself. “I don’t like to tip. I’m not a high-error kid.”
Her height is used to its best advantage but she noted that two of the tougher teams this year – Allen and Austin Westlake – have been the biggest match-ups in terms of size and talent.
Although Porter sees herself as a quiet personality on and off the court due to her focus on the goal at hand, her communication has increased as she’s learned from those before her.
“I’m focused on my play and more focused on rallying the rest of the team,” Porter said of her leadership. “The big thing is making sure my teammates are on board and we have good energy on the court to help us play our best.”
She knows it’s also in her hands now, to help teach the younger players.
“I’ve picked up leadership characteristics on how to run the program and learned their techniques,” she said. “Now, it’s like the seniors are going to be stepping down in November and we’re really trying to teach some stuff if they want to be a part of the program.”
Porter recalls the eye-opening experience of jumping up to the varsity level as a younger player.
“It was pretty intimidating, actually,” she said. “They all seemed so much older than me, but it was a great learning experience.”
When Porter moves on to play at Texas State next year, she wants to make sure the Carroll volleyball program is in good hands and that this year’s sophomores can reflect back on a state appearance, as well.