Being a dual threat on the volleyball court is a huge advantage for any player or team. North Carolina has found that talent in their 6-7 setter/Opposite Hitter, Holly Carlton who is able to switch her role for the team on a whim.
If you really look at Carlton, she has a third advantage in volleyball – her height. The ability to switch positions and be as agile as she is makes for the ultimate threat to an opponent. Her diversity on the court gives the Tarheels a number of options – making her a 5-1 setter, meaning she sets all the time to running a 6-2, where she would split the setting position with another player and set only in the back row while hitting in the front (to learn more about setting rotations and volleyball in general click here). Additionally, while hitting in the front row, she would make the perfect option for the setter to take the ball to if she passed the first ball – allowing for North Carolina to still run a normal offensive set.
From the opponents side, it is hard to take on such height that has the talents to make a quick switch from hitter to setter or vice versa. This makes for a difficult scouting report because you never know when she will make the switch.
This summer, Carlton competed with the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the U20 Pan American Cup in Costa Rica, where they won the gold medal. Just a month later she played with the team at the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Mexico where they took seventh. This experience with the Junior National Team give Carlton some more experience at the international level, that will give her a confidence boost, knowing that she has played with some of the best in the world.
The 2017 season with the Tarheels will be Carlton’s first in a full-time role with the team, using 2016 as a redshirt year. That year gave her a chance to become acclimated to the college environment, learn the system and become a stronger player overall with a year of practice and training under her belt. Over the course of the year, Carlton won the 2016-17 UNC Strength & Conditioning Most Improved Player.
In the video below, her teammate and coach talk about her incredible talent and want to win. She will find any way to win and play any role to do so, whether it be at setter or hitting for the team, Carlton will accept and perform in that role.
.@holly_carlton2 is a double threat, with the ability to play setter and hitter. #tarheelstowatch #goheels pic.twitter.com/lnrm6bqWfA
— Carolina Volleyball (@UNCVolleyball) September 14, 2017