Lady Dragon Volleyball Celebrates Season With Big District Honors
Dec 16, 2015 01:47PM
● By Kevin
Photo by Stewart Johnson of SnappedDragons.com
After a 43-4 season and going undefeated in the district in the regular season, the Carroll girls volleyball team met the year's end with a 3-2 loss (14-25, 25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 15-13) to Boyd in the regional quarterfinals of the state championship tournament.
One month later, the Lady Dragons celebrated plenty of district honors, including Haley Hallgren's District 7-6A Most Valuable Player title. In addition, Nailah Gordon was named Co-Newcomer of the Year, Asjia O'Neal was named Blocker of the Year, and Lisie Kit was named Setter of the Year.
Head coach Ryan Mitchell breaks down the honors.
In his own words
Nailah Gordon had a breakout season this year and it is the main reason she was honored as Newcomer of the Year. She brought a spark and an energy to the team this year that made others around her so much better. She moved positions to the middle because of team need and she did it with passion and effort to get better throughout the season. She improved tremendously from the start of the season until the finish.
Asjia [O'Neal] was honored as Blocker of the Year and could have been chosen as several other superlatives as well. Asjia has a way of affecting various aspects of the game. Her blocking is such that other teams have to game plan for her on the net and she changes what offenses are trying to do. This award is gratifying because blocking was one of the main points of emphasis for her to improve upon this year and she did just that.
Lisie [Kit] was honored as setter of the year and it was due in large part to her improvement each and every day of practice. She gets better with each and every match and tournament as she gets more comfortable in her leadership role on this team and within the sport in general. Lisie is an intelligent kid that knows how to run an offense and works to get her hitters in a position to be successful.
First Team Selections
In addition, the following Lady Dragons were named to the All-District First Team. Mitchell continues:
Megan Porter (Texas State Commit) – As a senior led the team in most categories and was consistent throughout the year. She was the voice in the locker room and held her teammates accountable to a high level of play.
Remy Fairchild (Villanova Commit) – Remy brings a sense of urgency to games and plays with a whole lot of passion. Her energy sparked many wins throughout district and her maturity as a senior led others on the team to be successful.
Brayden Gruenewald (Alabama Birmingham (Beach)) Commit – Brayden stepped up her game this year as the teams’ libero. She improved with each and every practice and her athleticism on defense really helped propel the team in matches by keeping the ball alive.
Second Team Selections
These Lady Dragons were named to the All-District Second Team. Mitchell adds:
Elizabeth Augustini – Was a reliable force in the middle all season long. An injury in the second half of district hindered her a bit from performing at her peak during district but her toughness to work through injury proved her worth as she finished her senior year strong. Augustini has been a force for Lady Dragon Volleyball and used her experience to help the team.
Sheridan Webb – Sheridan was a setter throughout district that allowed the offense to run a 6-2 for a lot of district and is amazing at delivering the ball where hitters can be successful. Her work ethic to get better and her ability to communicate with others helped her be successful this season.
Rachel Meyne – (Colgate commit) Rachel had a lot of toughness on the right side and was often matched vs. the other teams’ best hitter. Her blocking took other hitters out of the game. She sees the court better than most and has a way of scoring and getting side outs when our team struggled.
The team recently enjoyed a banquet to celebrate the season. Mitchell paid homage to his 2015 team.
"The banquet was a great opportunity to honor the girls on a tremendous season," he said. "The year is long and takes a lot of work by the players, coaches, and parents working together. This season Lady Dragons Volleyball experienced a great deal of success and in large part with the ability for all of these groups to come together under a common goal."
Fairchild, Porter, Gruenewald and Augustini will depart for the next step in their respective lives, while 10 juniors will step into the senior spotlight in 2016.
"We are graduating four incredibly special players that will be missed but the excitement is huge going into next year that will boast a big senior class and tons of experience," Mitchell said.