For the first time in four weeks, Carroll sophomore middle blocker Elizabeth Augustini returned to the lineup when the Lady Dragons opened District 4-5A play against Keller Fossil Ridge.
The outcome was never in doubt, as Carroll (29-1, 1-0) ran its consecutive match winning streak to 22 with a 25-7, 25-8, 25-10 easy victory. By design, the Lady Dragons kept to coach Arthur Stanfield’s approach of playing his front-line starters in the first two games and then playing the future starters in the third game.
That’s how he used Augustini. While she was part of the normal rotation going into the season, Stanfield wanted to gradually work her back into game action. The 5-10 Augustini injured her ankle in the Pearland Tournament.
“She did fine,” Stanfield said. “Elizabeth was a little leery around traffic by the net and she was a step slow with her lateral movement. But that’s to be expected. Every week, she’s made progress in practice to where she’s lost 2-3 inches on her jump. That will come back in the next month.”
As we mentioned last week, Stanfield has such a deep team that he has a group of eight underclassmen on his roster which could compete for a playoff spot this year if it was a different team.
With Augustini, she likely will continue to play in that third game, but Stanfield wants to get to a point where she will return to the starting rotation or be a part of the rotation for the first two games.
When matches like the Fossil Ridge match get so out of hand so quickly, that usually has an impact on the stats. For instance, senior outside hitter Christen Sikora only had two kills.
Carroll played host to Richland Tuesday and visits Haltom Friday.
Junior outside hitter Maiya Burns has been out all season with a torn ACL. She suffered the injury in March and had the surgery in April.
Burns played a role in Carroll’s 2012 run to the Region I semifinals. At 5-6, she exudes athleticism by her ability to jump and touch 10 feet. That’s why height isn’t a problem for her playing outside hitter, and why Division I schools are looking at her.
This past Friday, Stanfield said Burns went to physical therapy and was allowed to start doing small hops. There’s the hope that she can start doing straight line running within the next week to 10 days.
Stanfield she is hoping to be back by the time the playoffs start in early November. But he’s taking a cautious approach.
“She had a minor setback when she had a knee scoped for some scar tissue a little while back,” he said. “We’re just going to have to see.”
Had Burns been healthy, it could have allowed freshman Haley Hallgren to play exclusively on the junior varsity. Nonetheless, Hallgren has handled varsity competition well.
Dealing with tragedy
Carroll has rallied to the aid of senior Timarie Nymeyer. Nymeyer lost her older brother Christopher last week to injuries he suffered in a single-car accident.
Stanfield gave Nymeyer part of last week off to be with her family in its time of need. Services were scheduled for Monday.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/09/16/5167404/roster-depth-gives-lady-dragons.html#storylink=cpy