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Lady Dragons return experience for 2012

August 1, 2012
Carroll Athletic Booster Club

The Lady Dragons volleyball team is reloaded and set for a new season. Carroll enjoyed a lot of success last season in running to a 44-1 record and national acclaim entering the second round of the playoffs.

In that round, they lost in a huge upset to Grapevine. In most programs, a season that successful usually results in at least a fallow season or two while the team's players gain experience that they were lacking while seniors started over them.

Amazingly, this isn't happening for Carroll volleyball, as they return four starters and 13 members of varsity from last season.

"We have 13 returning varsity players," Carroll volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield said. "All 13 of those played spring club ball, so they all got experience this spring, and most of them played at a fairly high level of club ball. We have a great deal of volleyball experience coming back. Unfortunately, some of that isn't varsity starting experience, but they've played a lot of volleyball."

Like so many teams at Carroll, it enters the season with aspirations of a state championship.

"Of course the ultimate goal is to win the state," Stanfield said. "I've been doing this long enough to know that if you put that out there and you get beat in the state semifinals you're going to be disappointed. For us, this year, the first goal is to make the playoffs. The second goal is to win district, the third goal is to make the regional tournament, the fourth goal is to make the state tournament and the fifth goal is to win the state tournament."

Even last place teams in baseball think that they can win the division every spring training, but with Carroll, there's quite a bit of reason to expect that they will be the team to beat in District 4-5A this season and a tough out in the playoffs.

"With good health, if we can stay healthy, I think they're all achievable," Stanfield said. "We have the physical talent to achieve a lot this fall if we stay healthy. If the kids buy into their roles, we can be very, very good. Whether it meshes together and we stay healthy, only time will tell."

With a team that returns half of the starting lineup and almost a whole squad worth of varsity players, Stanfield said that the biggest thing he has to coach is how to make sure everyone is strategically on the same page, instead of the basics of the sport - a major luxury for any coach.

"My job is more to get them in shape, teach our system, and getting them to buy into the importance of the team," Stanfield said. "I have a lot of kids who know volleyball. They know how to set and serve. It's not so much teaching, it's more of managing the numbers and getting them to buy into what we're trying to accomplish."

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Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/07/30/4138424/lady-dragons-return-experience.html#storylink=cpy

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