In the words of Eric Church, “It was a record year,” only instead of talking about personal success, the record year for Carroll High started with their volleyball team.
During the 23-14 2019 season for the Tigers, which included an undefeated Conference record, and a conference title, the Tigers were able to break a few records.
One of the records showed just how well the Tigers were at sharing the ball. Carroll broke a record that had stood for 15 years this season with their assists.
Led by another record breaker, Rylee Ludwig, who was busy setting assists records, and earning unanimous All-Conference honors the Tigers had their best passing year ever.
Since records have been kept the Tigers had never averaged more than nine assists per set.
As a team this year, Carroll was able to average 10 assists per set. According to head coach Kelli Schulz, that broke a school record that had stood since the end of the 2004 season. That year the Tigers were able to average 8.75 assists per set.
This year Carroll played in 101 sets and finished the season with 1010 assists (903 coming from senior Ludwig) to average exactly 10 assists in every set.
With all the assists that the Tigers were able to compile it makes sense that the passes went somewhere.
One of the strong suits for the Tigers was their ability to kill the ball. Ludwig’s passes set up several of the front row players for the Tigers. Carroll didn’t waste the opportunities that were given to them.
In addition to breaking for the assists per set record, Carroll also finished the year with their average number of kills per set.
Carroll concluded the season with 10.54 kills per set. That broke a record that had stood since 2007, when the Tigers averaged 10.2 kills per set.
The Tigers had a plethora of attackers to choose from.
Of the 11 players that suited varsity this season the Tigers finished with 10 of those players recording at least one kill. Josie Ayala led the way with 274 total kills. Close behind was Ella Collison who had 269. Junior Gabi Hammer finished with 196 kills while Kennedy Lein had 187 kills.
Emma Perkins added another 66 kills, while Ludwig was able to earn 38 kills. Vanessa Ayala had 25 kills. Laura Sweeney had seven kills, Kenzie Honold finished with two and Hannah Jorgensen had one kill this season.
Overall the Tigers had 1,065 kills in 101 sets. They only had 549 kill errors recorded.
As many coaches will admit, in the game of volleyball the serve gets everyone started. A reason why Carroll was able to finish the year with the success they had was because of the record-breaking serve percentage they created in 2019.
Schulz said that Carroll broke a record originally established in 2004, and matched again in 2009 where the team had a serve percentage of 91.4. This year however, the Tigers were able to finish the season with 93.1 percent of their serves landing in play. Of the 1,990 serves that Carroll attempted this season 1,852 of them landed in play.
A total of seven Carroll Tiger players were able to finish the season with serve percentage rates at or over 90 percent.
They were led by sophomore Vanessa Ayala who had 33 of her 34 serve attempts land in play. She had two aces and a serve success rate of 97 percent.
Not far behind was junior Sweeney who put 334 of her 349 serves in play. Perkins had 289 of her 303 serves land in play. Collison was 247 of 263 serves. Ludwig finished with 348 serves landing in play on 372 attempts. Josie Ayala finished the season with 285 of her 309 serves landing in play. Carroll also featured Jorgensen who had 29 of her 32 serves land in play for a serve success rate of 90 percent.
It can also be noted that Hammer served nearly 90 percent on the season. She had 231 of 257 serves land in bounds. Officially her success rate is listed at 89 percent, but can be rounded up to 90 percent.
“It’s an exciting time for our volleyball team, and the community of Carroll,” said Schulz after the season.