Second to none: Carbon volleyball seeking title
|Maquette Potts and Brooke Herrick block a Union attack during a Sept. 8 home game. Strong net play and constant kills by the Dinos left Union with few scoring opportunities. Carbon ended the match in three games.|
So far, so good.
Lady Dino volleyball is up to its usual tricks, defeating teams in every classification at a maddening pace.
Carbon took two more wins last week over Union and Judge Memorial. Each match ended in three straight games, which has been the case in nearly every Lady Dino preseason game matchup.
Currently the team is ranked second in the state behind Morgan High, according to a pre-season coaches poll.
Being one step behind the Lady Trojans has been painfully too common for the Lady Dinos in recent years.
Morgan High has usurped the Lady Dinos' title run two out of the last three seasons.
It was North Sanpete, however, which upset Carbon in last year's state championship game.
Although the Lady Dinos were up two games to none in the center-court match, the Lady Hawks battled back to win the final three games and take home a championship banner. It was Carbon's third, second place finish in as many years.
To some, expectations for a strong returning Carbon team for the 2004 year could have been low.
Carbon lost several core seniors last year, including current collegiate players Brittany Pollastro and Brittani Bentley, as well as Traci Mortensen, Cora Broadbear and Randi-lyn Bean.
The success of the team in the 2004 season is a tribute to the strength of Carbon's overall program. A strong junior varsity program feeds able athletes onto the varsity courts and head coach Bruce Bean's mentality to let the best players play keeps athletes hungry to earn a spot on the elite varsity roster.
Carbon will begin the Region 8 season on Sept. 21 at Delta. In addition to defending state champion North Sanpete, Region 8 touts some of the best 3A volleyball programs in the state. Bean said the team always makes region play the biggest priority and keep its focus on Delta, Lehi, North Sanpete and Emery before looking ahead to state.
"We have pretty good chemistry right now," stated Bean. "The girls are doing what they need to do."
And as to Morgan's first place ranking, Bean said the northern team is likely to be there at the end, but that Carbon has the skills to come out on top.
"I think Morgan is a pretty tough program year in and year out. A couple years ago, we knew we were outclassed. But not this year. We can beat anyone at anytime," he asserted.
According to Bean, the current Dino varsity team is more mature than it has been in past years. The athletes are also not nervous to compete in a state tournament because they have been there before.
"I've got a confident bunch this season," he concluded.
Carbon will host Park City tonight at 6:30 p.m. for the last preseason game of the season.