Lady Cardinals piling up wins behind strength of “Young Powers of SWAT”

Published 12:24 am Thursday, October 13, 2022

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BRIDGE CITY – With two key veterans in senior setter Taryn Doiron and junior hitter Demi Carter set in stone, Bridge City head volleyball coach Savanah DeLuna knew she was going to have to rely heavily on some young players this season as the two-time defending District 22-4A champion Lady Cardinals were going after a third straight title.

Well, with three freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup, the Lady Cardinals have continued to flourish with their new young regime, “Young Powers of SWAT.”

The Lady Cardinals (24-10) have certainly found their stride, racing out to an 8-0 district mark with just four more district tilts to go.

Last year the Lady Cardinals went 39-6 overall and a perfect 12-0 in districe, but DeLuna knew the Lady Cardinals were going to be going through an early youth movement this season.

“We experienced some growing pains early on and we knew it could be a roller coaster in non-district but we have some young kiddos that can flat-out play,” said Deluna. “I’m just so super proud of them at how far they have come along. These kids are only going to get better.

Freshmen Anna Kelly, Makenna Knight and Cambree LaComb have really made their mark, along with sophomore Chloe Doyle. Doiron and Carter have lifted their games even more this year and have shown tremendous leadership, and Lexi Nugier has stepped in and played well on defense.

Doiron is still the player that stirs the pot and is a human stat sheet, especially at setting her teammates up.

Doiron has notched an incredible 389 assists, to go along with 185 digs, 169 kills and 80 aces. Carter has been a menace to opponents at the net, compiling 319 kills and 42 blocks and has 136 digs and 62 aces.

“Taryn, she is one of the most complete players you’ll ever see and she makes everything go for us, on and off the court. She’s just a tremendous leader,” said DeLuna. “Carter, she has simply turned into a beast at the net and just gets better and better, which is kind of scary when you think about it. Those two are definitely a great 1-2 punch.”

DeLuna is thrilled with the play of underclassmen.

“Kelly is really powerful at the net, plays good defense and has a great serve,” said DeLuna. “LaComb has had a great season with some excellent sets and defense. Knight has been a big plus on offense and defense. The more she plays, the better Doyle gets. Nugier gives us a great effort, especially on defense. So we are really rounding up into form.”

DeLuna has enjoyed the recent balance.

“LC-M took us to five tough games in the first half of district, but we were able to take them in three last week and they have a really good team,” said DeLuna. “It’s like everything was more in sync then the first time we played them. We were so balanced. Kelly and Carter had 30 kills combined in the three games, with Kelly, a freshman, leading with 16 of them while Carter had 14. It’s great to have so many weapons.”

DeLuna has enjoyed the way the Lady Cardinals have been studious.

“We’ve incorporated a lot more film time, and the girls have really soaked that in,” stressed DeLuna. “That’s what I love about these girls, they are constantly wanting to improve themselves and learn more.”

There is more talent coming to the varsity level down the road, too.

“We have such a tremendous freshmen group and they are tearing it up on the junior varsity and freshmen levels,” said DeLuna. “The future definitely looks bright for Lady Cardinal Volleyball.”