Lady Trojans reload for repeat

there volleyball players hold up their hands
BY NICK SIMON
THE TIMES-GEORGIAN

Despite the departure of key seniors from last year’s elite eight group, the Carrollton High School volleyball team has kept things rolling in the first few weeks of its 2018 campaign.

The reigning Region 7-AAAAA champion Lady Trojans have spiked their way to an 8-2 start to the season, beginning with victories over Bremen, Villa Rica and Central to claim the West Georgia Classic on Aug. 13.

Head coach Kasey Austin noted the dedication her players have shown dating all the way back to summer workouts as a key to the quick start.

“They worked hard all summer. I’ve never had it to where we had almost 100 percent attendance during that period of time,” Austin said. “They worked really hard at all their camps and I think they just really want it.”

Carrollton lost six seniors from last season’s deep playoff run to graduation, a bunch that included 2017 Times-Georgian All-Area MVP Darby Gainey.

Among the returnees, however, is 2017 Times-Georgian All-Area Newcomer of the Year Paige Blackmon and all-area selection Allie Dishman, along with a pair of veterans that Austin will be leaning on heavily to provide leadership.

“Right now, I have two seniors in Macie Monsour and Kelsie Thomas. Macie’s playing outside hitter and Kelsie’s our middle blocker,” Austin said. “They’ve just been solid throughout their career at Carrollton. They’re definitely selfless players and great teammates who are hungry to win and are willing to do whatever it takes. They lead our team and are great for our younger players to look up to.”

Along with the season-opening tournament victory at the West Georgia Classic, the Lady Trojans have also tested themselves with other local foes, triumphing over the likes of Haralson County, Alexander and Chapel Hill.

“We wanted to play a lot of strong, local teams that are going to help us refine what we’ve been doing and help us see some different competition,” Austin said. “Those games will allow us to change things to where we can adjust and be the best team against anyone we face.”

The season will soon start to really pick up for CHS in September, with a full league docket against the likes of Hiram, Rome, Villa Rica and Woodland, Cartersville still on tap.

The Carrollton head coach stated that her squad is once again up to the task of achieving greatness.

“We won region last year and that’s their goal for this year. If we don’t win it, it won’t be for lack of effort because they’re really hard workers,” Austin said. “They’ve shown their dedication to the team just by showing up and doing what needs to be done day-in and day-out.”