Lady Dragon reunites with old coach, position

Familiarity breeds success.

That’s what Carroll senior outside hitter Madison Drescher is counting on as her select summer volleyball season winds down and her final high school season begins. Drescher is reunited with a former select coach in Ryan Mitchell, who left Lucas Lovejoy and is now at Carroll.

Mitchell worked with Dresher on a 14U select team. Knowing her strengths and weaknesses, the bond could be the final push the Lady Dragons are hoping for as they contend for a Class 6A state championship.

“Coach Mitchell makes it hard for you all the time because he wants nothing but from best from you,” Drescher said. “He’s changing a lot of things up for us and really cares about how we do and what we want to accomplish.

The first thing Mitchell did with Drescher was return her back to the outside. Drescher, who played outside hitter as both a freshman and sophomore, played middle blocker her junior year. Former coach Arthur Stanfield wanted to take advantage of her 6-2 frame. While Drescher made the most of it, it wasn’t her natural position.

Stanfield’s departure wasn’t smooth in February, but Mitchell appeared to smooth the difficulty with his energy and enthusiasm. As far as Drescher was concerned, that was exactly what she expected. She met with Mitchell and the change was made.

“He knew I would be happier there and be more productive there,” Drescher said. “He knows my game and what I can do. But everybody was feeding off the positive way he was running the program.”

Drescher’s select team TAV 17U just finished competing at the national tournament this week in Minneapolis. Expectations to win it were high as the team was 17-2 going into the event.

Once that ended, she is going to have a month between the end of club and the beginning of high school workouts.

If you can call it down time. Drescher said she wants to work on her serve receive game and defense. In the serve receive, she knows she needs to stay lower and get behind the ball. In terms of defense, should that element improve, then she has a chance to play all the way around the court.

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As polished as she is offensively, there’s always room for improvement. After all, if you’re going to be play at the highest level, there is no area of your game that doesn’t need refining.

“Madison was great to coach at 14’s and even then you could see her passion coming out within her play,” Mitchell said. “She has a love for the game and her play pushes her teammates. Moving her to the pin will create nightmares for the other team and will allow her to get more involved with the offense.”

Drescher will also get the chance to play in college. She has verbally committed to play for the University of Oklahoma and will sign this coming November. Drescher also considered North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Rutgers and South Carolina.

“I took an unofficial visit to one of their games and loved the coaches and the way they interacted with the players,” she said. “That’s why I felt like Oklahoma was the best place for me.”

So is outside hitter.

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