SOUTHLAKE — This volleyball match meant just a little bit more to Southlake Carroll coach Ryan Mitchell than most. Not only was it his first match as Carroll’s head coach, it was against his former assistant Jennifer Nance of Richardson Pearce.
“It’s always neat when a former assistant comes back, and you get to battle them a little bit,” Mitchell said. “It also makes me proud, to me, when former assistants can go on and have success at other schools.”
Sentiment aside, Carroll posted a 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 victory in the season opener.
Pearce committed 22 attack errors and three service errors in a match that Nance said was “frustrating to lose.”
“There’s definitely some things we need to work on,” Nance said. “Playing a great team like Southlake shows us our weaknesses, but it also shows us some of our strengths. It’s important how we are hanging tough and hung into some of those big points.”
Nance, in her first season at Pearce, was Mitchell’s assistant coach last year at Lovejoy.
Mitchell guided Lovejoy to five consecutive state titles (four in Class 3A, one in Class 4A) from 2008-12 and will look to continue that success at Southlake, which reached the Class 5A state semifinals a year ago.