DALLAS -- Maybe it's because it's her first year as the volleyball coach at Dallas High. Maybe it's because she knows a few things the rest of us don't. One thing for certain, though, is Cathy McCarron isn't afraid to aim high.
"I expect to see a much better performance than last season," McCarron said. "We have some great athletes. We have a good team. My goal is to go to state, and they have the potential to do that.
"I have high hopes for these girls. They're hard workers. We haven't even been practicing for two weeks and already I've seen tremendous improvement. I have faith in these girls. I have faith they're going to perform. They have all the traits to pull together and become a successful team."
Dallas returns seven players from a team that finished seventh in the Mid-Willamette Conference and went 4-16 overall last season.
Shaymarie Parker, Deaven Vessell, Caitlyn McCarron, Kelsey Linn, Julie Postma, Sarah Solvedt and Kiley Barcroft all played for the Lady Dragons last season. But there were no guarantees for any of them this time around.
"They had to try out," said Cathy McCarron, who's also Caitlyn's mother. "It wasn't guaranteed they would get on the team. They all started from scratch. They all earned their spots."
They will be joined on the varsity squad by Dani Ackerman, Khayla Swanson and Amanda Dankenbring.
"Everybody has their strengths," McCarron said. "Some are stronger than others. But I'm very firm to focus on the team. There's not one person who can make us successful, and everybody deserves credit for something."
When asked what will be the key for her squad this season, McCarron quickly said, "Our passing. We've got to execute our serve-receive and our passing flawlessly. You can't play volleyball if you don't have the pass. Once we get the pass, everything will come together. We've got the hitters. We've got the setters. Passing is our main focus."
About 45 players turned out for preseason workouts, meaning a few hopefuls had to be turned away. But it also speaks well for the future of the program.
"Unfortunately, we had to make some tough decisions," McCarron said. "We had to cut some gals. You don't look forward to that part of it, but it was nice to have as many girls come out as we did. We're looking to develop the programs at the younger levels so we have that problem every year and the program keeps getting stronger and stronger."
Cathy McCarron (first season).
3-11, seventh place in Class 5A Mid-Willamette Conference; 4-16 overall.
Shaemarie Parker, sr.; Deaven Vessell, jr.; Kiley Barcroft, soph.
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 10 at Madison Tournament TBA
Sept. 13 at West Albany * 6 p.m.
Sept. 15 Crescent Valley * 6 p.m.
Sept. 20 at Woodburn * 6 p.m.
Sept. 22 Corvallis * 6 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Century Tournament TBA
Sept. 27 at South Albany * 6 p.m.
Sept. 29 Silverton * 6 p.m.
Oct. 4 Lebanon * 6 p.m.
Oct. 6 West Albany * 6 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Glencoe Tournament 8 a.m.
Oct. 10 at Crescent Valley * 6 p.m.
Oct. 12 Woodburn * 6 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Corvallis * 6 p.m.
Oct. 20 South Albany * 6 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Silverton * 6 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Lebanon * 6 p.m.
Nov. 1 5A Play-In Match TBA
* -- denotes Mid-Willamette Conference match