2016 Girls Volleyball
Feb 23, 2017 09:46AM ● Published by Ashley Pape
Head Coach: Ryan Mitchell Assistant Coaches: Amy Lilly, Megan Degroot, Teresa Dunn
2 Mellanie King OH Sr.
3 Sheridan Webb S Sr.
4 Lauren Johnson OH Sr.
5 Rachel Meyne OH Sr.
6 Sabrina Monaco OH Sr.
7 Asija O’Neal MB Jr.
8 Ava Elia MB Jr.
9 Abby Carlile RS Sr.
10 Alli Bliss OH Sr.
11 Kendall Gilpin DS So.
12 Lisie Kitt S Sr.
14 McKenzie Nichols S So.
15 Raven Rolle MB So.
17 Haley Hallgren OH Sr.
18 Annabelle Smith MB Fr.
21 Nailah Gordon MB Sr.
22 Abby Carroll DS Jr.
The Carroll volleyball team entered the third season under head coach Ryan Mitchell with lofty expectations and an experienced team that began the year as one of the top-ranked squads in Texas after reaching the regionals quarterfinals a year ago.
And while the Lady Dragons ultimately fell short of their goal of hoisting a state champion trophy, it was still another productive season for the program. The team competed in a tournament in Hawaii where they finished third, rose up to No. 1 at times in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s weekly poll and shared the District 5-6A Championships with Hebron.
Mitchell’s squad also advanced to the regional finals before bowing out against eventual state champ Hebron (who they defeated twice in regular season play). At the end of the season, the team finished with 43 wins against just seven losses and was highly ranked both in the state (No. 2) and the nation (No. 7).
About the Team
The 2016 season saw the Lady Dragons advance to the postseason behind a bevy of collegiate talent. Rachel Meyne (Colgate), Mellanie King (Citadel), Lisie Kitt (Clemson), Nailah Gordon (North Carolina State), Abby Carlile (Alabama- Birmingham), Sheridan Webb (Akransas State) and Haley Hallgren (Southern California) have already solidified their collegiate futures.
Powered by 5-6A MVP Asija O’Neal and Blocker of the Year Nailah Gordon, the Lady Dragons were well represented on the all-district team with three players apiece on the first and second teams and honorable mention.
O’Neal paced the team in kills (509) and blocks (127) and was a force on the court at all times. Gordon recorded 216 kills and 67 blocks, while TCU commit and sophomore McKenzie Nichols was second in on the team with 476 assists and provided a team-high 37 aces.
Head coach Ryan Mitchell also praised senior Haley Hallgren for her all-around play (255 kills and a team-high 491 digs), ability on serve-receive and for never coming off the court.
Lisie Kitt ran the offense and dished out 657 assists, many of which went the way of freshman Annabelle Smith (142 kills and a team-high 69 blocks). For their efforts, Hallgren, Kitt and Nichols were named first-team all-district, Rachel Meyne, Abby Carlile and Kendall Gilpin made the second team and Smith, Alli Bliss and Lauren Johnson received honorable mention honors.
“We had a myriad of quality kids on this team that really persevered and made an impact. It’s hard losing your last game, but the volleyball here in Texas is just so good. You have to get hot at the right time and get a little lucky as well.” – Head coach Ryan Mitchell