Megan Carter Serves It up For the Blue Raiders

November 17, 2005 · Adam Parker, Special to GoBlueRaiders.com
In a volleyball match, the difference between your point and their point often starts with the serve. It takes a special kind of player to start it off the right way. This is a job for Megan Carter.

"We seem to score a bunch of points when she's serving," said Middle Tennessee Head Coach Matt Peck. As the serving specialist for Middle Tennessee's 26-3 volleyball team, Carter quickly made a name for herself once she mastered a technique called the jump floater. The jump floater is one of the trickiest serves to execute, but it's also one of the trickiest serves to pass. This technique is a synergistic combination of two different serves.

She tosses the ball, jumps, and hits it straight towards her opponents' heads while she is airborne. "The worst ball to pass is the ball that comes at your head," Peck said.

Carter takes this serve to the next level by hitting the ball so that it floats, floating is when you hit the ball so it travels through the air without spinning, causing it to travel one direction, then another, without warning.

"The ball looks like it's going to come at you and the passers adjust, and all of a sudden, it just falls. It's an unexpected ball, so it makes a lot of passers in volleyball panic," Peck said.

As the ball drops, her startled opponents must desperately lunge towards the ball in order to pass it. Or else it's another point for Middle Tennessee.

When Carter thinks about volleyball, it's more than just the competition itself. It's about camaraderie, too.

"I played with the same group of girls since ever since I was a freshman in high school and some of the same girls since I was in eighth grade," Carter said.

All of those years spent on the same team brought them closer together, not just as teammates, but also as friends. Two of her Middle Tennessee teammates, Lindsay Sisco and Hannah Randolph, have played on the same team as Carter ever since they all attended Blackman high school in Murfreesboro.

Carter was a four-year letterwinner at Blackman and had won state, district, and region awards by the time she had graduated. During her senior year in high school, Carter frequently attended Middle Tennessee's home games as a spectator cheering on players such as KeKe Deckard and Dara McLean.

In 2004, she finally got the chance to play alongside those same players that she watched from the bleachers in 2003. But Carter suffered an injury during preseason, which left her redshirted for the entire 2004 season and physically unable to play the game until February 2005.

Until recently, nobody knew just how good Carter was at serving. Not until coach Peck introduced the jump floater to the team.

"We showed Megan this new serving technique last spring and she was very good at it," Peck said.

And the rest is history. This season, Carter clearly led Middle Tennessee's serving game.

Now Carter looks forward to playing in the Sun Belt Tournament, which kicks off today with the No. 2 seed Blue Raiders facing off against No. 7 seed Arkansas State at the Alumni Memorial Gym at 5 p.m.

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