Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Southlake Carroll trips Keller in pivotal volleyball match to remain perfect in district play
KELLER — Ranked No. 1 in The News’ area volleyball poll, Southlake Carroll stayed undefeated in District 4-5A with a 3-1 victory at second-place Keller.
Carroll defeated Keller, 25-17, 25-14, 15-25 and 25-13, but did lose its first set in more than a month.
“We knew Keller could pressure us,” Carroll coach Arthur Stanfield said. “We could see being in the 20s with them and that’s OK if we’re both playing well. But we don’t want to lose a set 25-15 with seven aces like we did.”
With two district games left before the playoffs begin, Carroll (41-3, 12-0) clinched another district title. Keller (28-8, 10-2) is hoping to make a playoff run of its own, with its only two district losses coming to Carroll.
“We got our offense going in the third set,” Keller coach Sylvia Ortiz said. “We have to serve and pass and not make unforced errors like we did in the first two sets. You make unforced errors, and with as good as Carroll is, you get in a hole that’s hard to get out.”
Expectations are again high at Carroll, which became the first high school in Texas to win five state titles in different sports last season. But Carroll hasn’t won a volleyball state title.
In his third season since arriving after guiding Red Oak to three state volleyball titles, Stanfield doesn’t expect Carroll to get too far ahead of itself in thinking about the playoffs. Carroll was upset in the second round last year by Grapevine.
“After last year’s debacle, we learned you don’t look at anything other than one match,” Stanfield said. “We have a chance, but your season can be over in one night in the playoffs. We have to play every time out. There are no mulligans.”
Carroll didn’t overwhelm Keller with its height, but its seasoned positioning, technique and depth kept pressuring Keller and allowed few easy points.
“We didn’t block especially well, but we don’t have that much height so that continually is a problem,” Stanfield said. “We have to pass and serve. When we do that we play well. When we don’t, that’s when we have problems.”