Carroll volleyball team wins season opener in new gym

The 2022 version of the Carroll volleyball team had a chance to meet up with the program’s first varsity volleyball team on Monday, the same day the school was opening a new gymnasium, and promptly christened the gym with a victory.

The Tigers won their season opener on Monday against Alice in a three-set sweep as members of the 1998 team, the first year Corpus Christi ISD began fielding varsity volleyball teams, were watching. Monday’s match at the new Carroll High School “Arena” showcased the new building, and offered former players a chance to reconnect and give the current team a chance to meet who helped pave the way for them.

“Just to have the chance to not only see all the players that I used to play with and we had some great times,” said Jackie Choi Parker, who went on to play at New Mexico State. “It brings back some great memories. But also just to see the volleyball team to kick off a new season in a brand new facility, yeah it’s a no brainer (to return).”

Parker now lives in San Antonio and some former players live in Corpus Christi while others came from other parts of the state. Former head coach Linda Lindsey, who teaches golf at Gabe Lozano Golf Center, and assistant Donna Eason also returned to see the new gym and cheer for the Tigers.

“It is different, but what’s great about it … was that Carroll Tiger energy and that was exciting,” Lindsey said during Monday’s match. “Super honored, super blessed and you know Carroll tradition has gone on since the late 50s, early 60s and we had an opportunity that was very unique.”

Meanwhile, this was also a chance for the players on the current squad to showcase their talents in a new facility.

Carroll players react after scoring a point in a match against Alice at Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, Texas on Monday, August 8, 2022.

“It meant a lot,” said senior JaNaisha Kelley on the first victory in the new gym. “That was history winning the first game in the new arena. Our chemistry is good and we are going to go from here.”

Coach Rebecca Valenzuela said the team had to work through some nerves because it was the first regular season match of the season regardless of the venue, but the chance to connect with the first varsity team was an opportunity help the current team know where the tradition started .

“Just holding conversations with our team, and letting them know they started the tradition at the beginning,” Valenzuela said. “We are just going to keep it going. That was huge for our girls to be able to have those conversations with them and having them see the new campus.”

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