Athlete of the Week: Rachel Carroll using volleyball to build relationships with teammates and family

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 4:03 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Rachel Carroll is the libero leading the way for the Lady Manatees of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota on the volleyball court.

The team has a 13-8 record and they’re in postseason play right now. Many would say this a special team on the court, but Carroll credits that to the relationships she and her teammates have away from the matchups.

“It’s just very sibling like,” Carroll said. “I look at all of them as if they’re my sisters.”

Performing on volleyball courts on the Suncoast is something she’s accustomed to. Carroll is a native of Sarasota, but she was highly touted prospect for colleges all over the nation.

“There was a good amount,” Carroll said. There were probably close to 20 [offers] maybe.”

Before she could make her collegiate decision, tragedy struck in Carroll’s life when her father passed away.

“Me and him were so close,” Carroll said. “It was really shocking when I lost him. It was like I lost my father and my best friend.”

Her father’s untimely passing is a big reason why Carroll chose to stay on the Suncoast.

“Ever since I lost my father, I became really close with my family,” Carroll said. “I was close with them before but I wanted to stay close by and build my relationships with them.”

Carroll continues to cope with this loss, but she offers words of encouragement to anyone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one. “Just be positive and just do everything for them, Carroll said. “Keep on going with their legacy.”

Carroll and the Lady Manatees return to action on Friday, Nov. 3, when they travel to Palm Beach State College to take on Lake Sumter State College in the 2023 FCSAA Division II/NJCAA South Atlantic District Volleyball Championship Match 1.