SARASOTA — Carly Scarbrough isn’t one to hold back her emotions.
Whether it’s celebrating a point, winning a match or putting the final emphasis on a kill, the Riverview High junior middle hitter isn’t afraid to let the entire gymnasium know how she feels.
“It helps fire your team up and makes you feel good,” Scarbrough said. “You should be allowed to celebrate.”
Scarbrough got her first taste of celebration two years ago when she walked onto the court as a freshman for her first high school match. During the first play of the game, Scarbrough’s sister, Bree, set a perfect pass; and Scarbrough not only was awarded her first hit, but she also recorded her first kill.
It’s a moment Scarbrough will always cherish, not only because it was the start of her career as one of the area’s most dominant hitters, but it also was the beginning of her final season playing alongside her sister.
Scarbrough spent much of her freshman season celebrating, as the Lady Rams finished as the district runner-up and advanced to the regional quarterfinals.
Now, two years later, the Lady Rams’ team and floor captain wants to lead Riverview back to the playoffs — a feat the team missed out on last season.
“I think it’ll definitely be an achievable goal,” Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough began playing club volleyball when she was in seventh grade after her sister, who now plays volleyball for American University, took up the sport.
Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarbrough joined the Sarasota Volleyball Academy, for which she played until last year. During her sophomore year, Scarbrough joined the Tampa United Volleyball Club, which offered Scarbrough more competition and a higher level of play.
In addition to playing club volleyball, Scarbrough also competed for Team Florida as both an eighth-grader and a freshman and for Team USA last year.
“I was so excited,” Scarbrough said of competing for Team USA. “It’s always been my goal. It was really rewarding (to make it) because I worked hard at that.”
Over the past three years, Scarbrough has become one of the area’s most dominant hitters — a skill she credits, in part, to a solid work ethic.
“I’ve been told that I hit at a very high level,” Scarbrough said. “I’ve always been a hitter. I also have a strong volleyball IQ. I’m a very mental player, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.”
Scarbrough’s dominance on the court has garnered the attention of numerous collegiate programs. Several major college programs are recruiting Scarbrough, but she has yet to decide where she wants to play.
“I want to go Division I,” Scarbrough said. “I want to play at the highest level I can play. I’m leaning toward indoor (volleyball) because beach is so new, but I (don’t know) for sure. ”
But, for now, Scarbrough is focused on celebrating with her teammates as much as she can this season. After a tough start to their schedule, the Lady Rams posted a 3-0 victory over rival Sarasota Sept. 17.
“Sink the Sailors,” Scarbrough said. “Every year we go out to play, we just want to beat Sarasota. It’s about school pride and definitely (honoring) the Ram name.”
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