The Shedden resident is excited for the NCAA Southland championship after the
tournament was cancelled a year ago due to the covid-19 out break
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
By Rob J. Ross
NEW ORLEANS, LA. - A two year wait is over.
After being cancelled last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, Ally Carr is looking forward to this year's NCAA Southland Conference women's beach volleyball championship, a three day event starting Friday, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"My team and I are beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to compete in the conference championship, especially since we were not able to last year," said Carr, a senior with the University of New Orleans Privateers.
Even a massive rainstorm this past weekend that flooded most of New Orleans' campus and the volleyball courts, did not wash away the Privateers' enthusiasm.
"Luckily, they drained quickly and we were able to have a mini tournament within our team (Monday) to prepare for this weekend," said Carr, a 2018 graduate from Parkside Collegiate in St. Thomas.
New Orleans, seeded fifth, opens the double elimination tournament taking on number four seeded Central Arkansas, at 11 a.m. Friday. The winner advances to face top seeded A&M Corpus Christi, at 1 p.m.
Teams are ranked based on national ranking and line-ups.
New Orleans finished regular season play at 7-14, however Carr says the team is better than their record. Teams earn a win by taking at least three of the matches, usually at total of five, from opponents.
"Although our team record is not where we expected or wanted it to be, we have grown and developed through the losses. We have previously gone into games with some naiveness, expecting that if we do the right things that we have practiced we should win," said Carr. "We may not have dominated the regular season, but we are prepared to finish on a high note."
Carr and partner Maxine Walsh, New Orleans' number two pair, were 7-13 this season.
"Max and I were expecting and hoping for more wins over this regular season but are not discouraged. The main difference between our pairing winning and losing is our mental game. When we are confident and playing with 'swag' we are unstoppable. We have been training leading up to the championships with this exact mentality and the results in practice so far are exciting."
This will be Carr's final appearance in a Privateers' jersey as the Shedden resident graduates this year.
"It is very bitter-sweet because Max and I played in the championships our freshman year together and are now playing again together our senior year. Our goal is to leave it all out on the court, use everything we've learned, play until the end, be aggressive and assertive and never giving up. If we achieve these aspects, things that we can control, we will be proud no matter what."
Many factors go into having success in beach volleyball, Carr explained, including the opponents and their game plan and strategy, the weather and wind conditions, emotional and mental focus.
"For my team to win our conference we must each be locked in for every game, every point and can't look ahead to further games or days. Each pair and each person on our team is just as important as another because we need three pairings to win so we are counting on everyone. And if someone is injured, we need to count on our additional players to be ready to jump in.
"We each need to play with our whole hearts and do it for ourselves, for each other, for our coaches, and staff, and family, and everyone who has supported us to be here today. We are ready and we can't wait."
New Orleans won the regular season meeting against Central Arkansas on April 10, with Carr and Walsh defeating their opponent in two games.
Carr heads into conference with 39
career wins, fourth on the all-time list at New Orleans.
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