Consistency is key for Cardinals last month of regular season
The Carrington volleyball team is once again one of the top teams in the Region 3 standings.
CARRINGTON, N.D. — The Carrington High School volleyball team hasn't got any gimmes on the schedule this season.
But what else is new?
"Region 3 is stacked — it always is," Carrington head coach Megan Trautman said. "For anybody, who will win comes down to consistency."
Carrington is currently sitting pretty in spot No. 3 in the Region 3, District 5 standings at 23-6 overall. In region play, the Cards have gone 5-1 while in the conference they are 4-2.
"I think our defense is where it is at right now," Trautman said. "We are covering the floor really well right now. Sometimes it's frustrating for the other team because they can't find a hole on our side of the floor."
The Cards' defense is being led by senior libero Mya Schroeder. The senior suffered an ACL tear back during her junior basketball season but after almost 10 months of recovery, she has managed to come back and is anchoring the backcourt.
Schroeder just hit 1,000 career digs two weeks ago. She is one of Carrington's five starting seniors who has taken it upon herself to help lead the younger girls back to the regional tournament.
"We’ve proven to ourselves, our coaches, opponents and fans that we can play with the best of the best and that we won’t stop working until we’ve reached our goals," Schroeder said. "Our entire team values each other and we know that we’re all in this together, no matter the situation. I’m very proud to be a Cardinal and blessed to have the teammates, coaches and fans we have."
Allison Jarrett is a senior who has been instrumental in the back row this year. After a breakout year on the outside last year, Jarrett suffered a torn ACL last winter and while she is back playing, she made the difficult decision to only play in the back row to protect her knee.
"I think as a senior, I am a very important part of the team along with my other seniors," Jarrett said. "We are leaders that the younger girls look up to.
"I try to provide the team with a positive attitude and my best effort every single day, I try to be there for each and every one of my teammates no matter what," she said. "That’s why I love my team, we never get down on each other and we never get mad. We shake every mistake off and trust in each other."
Jarrett has been playing varsity-level volleyball since her freshman year but has been a faithful student of the game for almost 10 years.
"My senior class and I started a JO volleyball team in third grade," Jarrett said. "My teammates Kennedy and Isabel Wendel’s mom, Mary, was the coach and she really paved the way for our volleyball careers and taught us very valuable things. I’m very grateful for what she has done for me and my teammates. She still helps us out today and is there for every single game."
Since Trautman took over the coaching responsibilities three seasons ago, she has helped to deepen her athletes' understanding of the game which has resulted in top finishes in Region 3 in the last two years.
"The girls are just really feeling it right now and I hope that I can continue to do my job and help them stay on that high," Trautman said. "I still think there is room to improve and grow too. I want the girls to be confident now but also want them to understand that there are still things we need to get better at."
Trautman said that the key for the Cardinals at this point in the season is just to remain consistent. The head coach said she would like to see her team serving aggressively on a consistent basis. Trautman said the Cardinals also need to be aggressive on the attack while keeping the ball in bounds.
"I tell the girls that volleyball is so unique in that someone scores on every single possession," Trautman said. "Heading into tournament time, we really have to control what we can — like keeping serves in, having those aggressive attacks and getting digs.
"You really can't just hand the other team points — you have to make them earn those themselves," she said.
Still, Trautman's troop has come a long way since the beginning of August.
"They've gotten more consistent with reading the ball and not only are they reading and reacting to the ball but they are also reading each other," Trautman said. "We have a lot of athletic and skilled girls on our team who have played together before. Shared experiences along with great attitudes play into them getting along so well and playing great."