Women’s varsity volleyball captain Jillian Carroll is a natural-born leader


Mariajose Vera

Women’s varsity volleyball captain Jillian Carroll (7) is recognized for her leadership during the team’s Senior Night.

Julianne LoFurno, Sports editor

On the court, she can be found leading her team, as she jumps up to send a swift spike over the left side of the net. Off the court, she can be found setting an example for her peers, as she gives back to her community through her participation in multiple volunteer programs.

For Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Jillian Carroll (7), volleyball is much more than a trivial school sport. Starting at a young age, Carroll’s young self never expected to be captain for the MSD women’s volleyball team.

Carroll was born and raised in Parkland, FL. She began her volleyball career when she was six years old and got into playing the sport through her older sister, who taught her the ropes of the game.

“I got into playing volleyball because my older sister started playing, and she has taught me almost everything I know. I grew up following in her footsteps,” Carroll said.

Carroll has been involved in the sport for almost 11 years. During those years, she dabbled in soccer, but has found more enjoyment in volleyball. She has stuck with the sport ever since this realization.

Her passion for volleyball led her to join a travel team called the Tribe Volleyball Club. On the team, Carroll was able to play volleyball on a higher level. However, the stress of school combined with the demanding schedule of the travel team was overbearing, and she stepped down from the team to pursue her academics. Carroll currently plays for the MSD team as an outside hitter and a defensive specialist.

The Eagles currently hold a 3-5 record, as they defeated Coral Springs High School, Hollywood Hills High School, and Fort Lauderdale High School. Even though their record is not perfect, the team under Carroll’s leadership as a captain has been emotionally closer than previous years.

“Our performance this year really stood out from previous years in my opinion. We had such a diversity in positions this year, making it really easy to create strong lineups,” Carroll said. “The team’s bond this year was very strong and we have had a lot of fun both on and off the court so far.”

Although Carroll does not have any interest in pursuing college-level volleyball, she hopes to make the most out of her volleyball career in high school. She enjoys being on the MSD team and believes that the team’s positivity has allowed them to be successful in the past. Being a natural leader, she was promoted to captain for the 2021-2022 season.

“Our team has always had super high energy and positivity, especially when we have needed it the most. Over the past four years, our positive mindsets have led us to lots of successful wins and district’s championships as well as regional games,” Carroll said. “The last four years has really given me an amazing sense of leadership and has given me lots of opportunities.”

Being on the team for four years, Carroll has built many relationships with her teammates. They have a strong bond, and her team supports her as a captain and vice versa.

“I think Jillian cares deeply about everyone for her teammates and pushes us all to be better for one another,” teammate Giselle Hanson (6) said.

Outside of volleyball, Carroll is involved in DECA and Key Club. Not only is she active at MSD, she also contributes to the community by volunteering at Best Buddies, Feeding South Florida, the Friendship Initiative, and the Parkland Library.

As the MSD team reaches a mid-point, they look forward to challenging themselves with more difficult competition until the end of the season. Carroll is saddened to end her last season at MSD, but is excited to start a new chapter in her life as she inches closer to graduation.