A veteran Carroll volleyball team won 47 games in 2012. Given the start the Lady Dragons are off to, they may find a way to eclipse that single-season school record win total.
Following their victory at the Northwest ISD Classic, Carroll was 18-1. The only loss was to The Woodlands in the semifinals of the Pearland tournament, where Christen Sikora and Madison Drescher made the all-tournament team. (Editor note: Cat McCoy also made All tourney team and named Outstanding Defensive Player). In this one, Audrey Alford and Timarie Nymeyer were named to the all-tournament team. Other than that, the Lady Dragons have played like coach Arthur Stanfield hoped. They were ranked No. 4 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s latest poll.
“We’ve played really well so far and considering that we faced the Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7 teams [in the TGCA poll], we’ve shown that we can play with the best teams. Now, it’s a matter of staying healthy and also getting some of players healthy.”
Health concerns center on senior outside hitter Katie Martin and her ankle. Martin suffered a pretty tough sprain at the national club volleyball tournament in early July in Dallas.
She missed the camp schedule because the ankle was still causing some problems. Stanfield, though, knows he can be patient because he has such great depth on this team. He has worked her back some.
“She’s coming around,” Stanfield said. “Each day she is making some progress, but I want her back at full strength for district play because that’s when we’re going to need her.”
What should be a great advantage for Martin is when she unveils her jump top spin serve. It’s far different than the normal power serves that are coming across the court. With the spin, it changes everything how the defense can react to it.
“Kids will tend to misjudge it,” Stanfield said. “The slower it will sometimes come in, the bigger difference it will make. There’s a chance she can get more than her share of aces.”
The ratings index
Volleyball coaches use a somewhat universal ratings chart when it comes to their passing when they are in the serve receive.
They will employ a scale of 0-3 to determine how their defense plays a serve and is able to sustain the rally. With one coach monitoring the defense and having the eye to determine a quality pass, a zero will be when the team delivers an ace. A pass considered really solid in maintaining the flow of defensive play is considered a three or a two. Anything considered average or below is a one. Subjective, every pass is given a ranking, and following a game or match, an average is tabulated.
For instance, when Carroll lost to The Woodlands, Stanfield said the passing grade for that match was 1.8. He wants that figure to consistently be 2.2 or 2.3.
“What we’re looking for is a lot of consistency,” Stanfield said. “If we’re over two a lot, then we’re going to have a great match. If we’re under two, then we’re probably not going to win that match. There’s a lot of validity to it.”
Looking for aces
With the athleticism Carroll has, Stanfield wants this team to serve more aces. He knows this group is capable of doing that. It just hasn’t happened yet. There was one instance in Pearland where two players had 90 serves and combined for one ace.
“We’ve got to get more of them because that’s part of our offense,” Stanfield said.
One player who has led this team in serving is Mykah Wilson. In a match against Bishop Lynch, she had 10 consecutive winners to rally Carroll from 16-7 deficit to a 17-16 lead.
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