Lady Dragons take steps in march toward playoffs

Carroll’s march toward the volleyball postseason and district championship took an important step last week. The Lady Dragons (37-2, 7-1 in District 7-6A) swept their matches with Hurst L.D. Bell and Richland to stay within one game of Colleyville Heritage when the week began.

But they are in the postseason. Carroll clinched its postseason berth when it beat Richland this past Friday. Given their district record, fifth-place Richland stood at 2-6. With four matches remaining in the district season, the math shows the Lady Dragons to be postseason bound. Now, the desire to return to the state tournament for the second consecutive year can begin.

Coach Ryan Mitchell has maintained that the last half of the district season would be divided into two sections. The first section against Haltom, L.D. Bell and Haltom would be used in accordance to keep working on itself and improving in areas where this team may not be operating at its best. The second section against Euless Trinity, Colleyville Heritage and Coppell would be played in somewhat playoff-like conditions. It appears that the playoff teams in this district will be Carroll, Colleyville Heritage, Coppell and Trinity.

However, these matches in the first section have encountered some stubbornness. Against L.D. Bell on Oct. 7, the Lady Dragons won the second game, 25-22. That was sandwiched between 25-10 and 25-17. In the match against Richland, the Lady Rebels made a push in the second game, but Carroll prevailed 25-10. The oddity of that was that Carroll won the first and third games in similar scores to the L.D. Bell match, 25-11 and 25-17.

Carroll continued its season with its final two regular season home games. The Lady Dragons on Tuesday and will celebrate senior night on Friday against Euless Trinity. It will be the final home match for defensive specialists Shelby Vlaandren and Emily Bond, middle blockers Kelsey Walter and Becca McSweeney, outside hitters Madison Drescher, Paige Panter and Maiya Burns, libero Mykah Wilson and setter McKenzie Brewer.

Carroll is also three wins shy of reaching its fourth consecutive 40-win season.

Statistically speaking

Carroll’s front line continues to make strides as the regular season nears the close and postseason begins.

By moving Drescher from middle blocker to outside hitter, Mitchell wanted Drescher to take advantage of her power. That appears to be working. According to the latest stats, Drescher leads the Lady Dragons with 283 kills, an average of 3.45 kills per game. She’s also brought the physical style at the net with a team-high 46 blocks. That’s followed by Haley Hallgren, who has 270, an average of 2.97 kills per game. But Hallgren’s offense has become well-rounded because she has added 213 assists and 245 digs so far.

Panter, whose development has been noteworthy this season, has been running third in kills with 234, an average of 2.60 per game.

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Carroll’s offense has flowed pretty well between Brewer and sophomore Lisie Kit. Brewer has 546 helpers, while Kit is at 224. You could also look at Wilson as the last line of defense. She has 428 digs, an average of 4.55 per game.

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