The Carroll Lady Dragon volleyball season has arrived. Coming off a 44-2 season last year, the Lady Dragons return 13 players and with the new district alignment, still remain the favorite to take the District 4-5A title and make a run in the state playoffs.
Carroll ISD Communications intern Kevin Adler caught up with Lady Dragon volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield about the prospects for 2012 season. The Lady Dragons got off to a great start with a sweep of Richardson Pearce on Tuesday night.
What are the goals for the team this season?
“Well, first we would like to get to the playoffs by winning district, then advance to the regional tournament and finally the state tournament. In all three years I’ve been here, we have fallen short of the regional tournament. Advancing to Regionals would make this year better than the previous three regardless, but the ultimate goal is to win a state title.”
Who are a few key returning starters?
“Two seniors who are Division I commits, Taylor Gruenewald and Katie Dunlap. Taylor will be attending Cal Poly and Katie will be playing for LSU. Those are the two seniors to really look for. Three junior players that were on varsity last year as sophomores and had crucial roles are Catherine McCoy, a libero who will start this year, Christen Sikora who will be our starting outside hitter, and Timarie Nymeyer who was a middle blocker as a starter last and will start again. These five are the key returning starters in my mind.”
Who are some of the newcomers ready to make an impact as first-year Varsity members?
“There are three sophomores we are bringing up this year. Maiya Burns is a smaller outside hitter, but has jumped 10 feet before, and will be in contention for a starting outside hitter spot. Madison Drescher, is one of our taller kids at around 6-feet tall. She will compete for a middle blocking spot and Audrey Alford, who is one of four setters we will keep on the varsity roster and if she earns the spot we will play her. If they all three come through, we will be really good.”
What team will provide the toughest district competition this year?
“I am going to guess Keller. Justin Northwest will be tough too. I do not know much about Haltom or Richland because they are new to the district. However, Richland made the playoffs last year. Our toughest competition is the Region will be Coppell, Colleyville Heritage, and Arlington. Luckily for us, we won’t have to face any of those teams until we reach the Regional tournament if we win our district, which was our goal this year.”
What makes this team different from years past?
“For me, this is the first group that I have had for four years. They understand what I want to do and accomplish. We were 44-2 last year, but it is still a different atmosphere because all these kids know and understand what is going on. We should not have any internal issues with the team and they are outing the team goals ahead of themselves.”
Follow Lady Dragon volleyball on Twitter @LadyDragonVball