Lady Trojans streak into area action
Sep 6, 2017

Nick Simon/Times-Georgian

Spiking down victory after victory throughout the first month of the 2017 season, the veteran-heavy Carrollton High School volleyball team has proven to be a well-oiled machine throughout the early stages of the fall campaign.

And the Lady Trojans have no intentions of letting the momentum stop anytime soon.

Carrollton (13-2, 2-0 Area 7-AAAAA) has ripped off 13 consecutive wins, including opening area play with a pair of 2-0 victories over Cass and Rome on Tuesday.

After a disappointing opening to the season in the Aug. 4 West Georgia Classic at Temple, the wheels have been turning for head coach Kasey Austin and her team.

"We lost our first two matches, but ever since we've figured out what we needed to do," Austin said before practice on Wednesday. "We've been on a streak since then."

Senior captain Darby Gainey said the intensity and energy level has been high all season long and they're focused on going out on a high note this fall.

"These last few weeks have gone really well for us," Gainey said. "We just want to keep our energy up and keep it going."

Another positive sign of a team hitting its stride is the fact that not only are the Lady Trojans winning their matches, they're putting opponents away quickly in the process. Eleven of the 13 victories have come in two-set shutouts, the characteristics of a squad that knows each other as well as their combatants.

"They're clicking really well. It's things that we're doing on the court and off the court that has really helped to build our chemistry," Austin said. "Just the way the girls are playing right now, they're really solid about knowing their opponent, studying their weaknesses and strengths and playing it to our advantage. They're playing a real smart game right now."

And it helps when the roster is chalk full of players who have been playing with each other for upwards of five years, dating all the way back to middle school. Just ask senior outside hitter Olivia Mount.

"We have most of the same team from last year, so we're all familiar with each other and are even more skilled this year," Mount said. "We're all very close and hang out with each other outside of school, so it helps a lot with our chemistry."

Austin cites the gradual increase in tough competition that has brought the best out of her team so far. They will face a pair of tough challengers today at 5 p.m. when they take on Temple and Douglas County at THS.

"We've had a strong mental capacity, which is something we were definitely lacking in the summer," Austin said. "During that period of time, we didn't have true competition other than ourselves, so I think having these good opponents has been huge for our mental game. We have six seniors on the team, so their knowledge really helps."

Now as they enter the midway point of the season, area play will only make the path toward the postseason even more challenging as dates with the likes of defending league champion Kell and No. 3 Villa Rica loom on the horizon. The Lady Trojan head coach knows that her team needs to continue to get after it in practice to prepare itself for what's to come.

"We need to keep our practices rigorous so we can hold our girls to the high standard that will be necessary as the season moves on," Austin said. "It's just about keeping that focus and maintaining that rigor."

For the players, the rest of the season will be about maintaining consistency and continuing to put pressure on their opponents.

"We need to improve on defense and staying consistent," Mount said. "Sometimes our team will go up and down throughout games, so we need to stay up at all times."