Heartbreak: State hopes elude Lady Eagles in loss to Argyle

By Clay Corbett | Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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The history-making season for the Decatur Lady Eagles came to an emotional end Saturday in the Class 3A Region II final at Mesquite.

Decatur fell to Argyle in five sets, 25-17, 27-29, 18-25, 25-15, 9-15.

END OF THE ROAD – Stormi Leonard shows her emotion after Decatur’s regional final loss to Argyle. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“The girls battled, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year,” Decatur coach Claire Rose said. “We made a big statement for Decatur volleyball this year. It’s a good program, and I hope people buy into it. I look forward to being a part of it.”

After a grueling, five-set win against Kaufman in the reginal semifinal the night before, the Lady Eagles (42-4) had to play for the region title less than 24 hours later. Rose feels they did all they could about the emotional drain.

“We did what we could to prepare them for today,” Rose said. “We fed them at the right time and got a good amount of rest. You have to be able to turn around and play that game.”

It looked like it wouldn’t be too big a factor after Decatur picked up a first-set win. Everything changed in the second game.

The Lady Eagles trailed most of the set and still trailed 24-21 late. Decatur refused to give up the final point, rallying to tie the game 24-24 with a Caroline Lowery kill.

Decatur had two game-point chances but came up empty, and Argyle eventually took the match, 29-27.

“That was a huge turning point,” Rose said about the game two defeat. “We lost a lot of momentum there. If we would have gotten that game things might have at least fallen in our direction a little more.”

Argyle used that momentum to carry it to another win in the third set.

With their backs against the wall, Decatur came out swinging in the fourth set. Makayla Mayfield put the Lady Eagles on her back, leading them to a fourth-set win, tying up the match. She ended the afternoon with 17 kills and nine digs.

In the deciding fifth set Decatur jumped out to a 5-3 lead before Argyle started chipping away. Argyle took the lead at 7-6 and would never trail again. Argyle ended the match on a 9-3 run.

“We had our chances,” Rose said. “It’s a game of momentum, and we made some bad choices. It cost us momentum, and against a team like that you can’t lose momentum.”

Other than Mayfield, Lowery finished with 10 kills, nine blocks and 16 digs. Katie Isham had eight kills and 25 blocks. Cooper Martin added seven kills, 17 blocks, six digs and four aces. Darci Billmire recorded six kills and 16 blocks.

Stormi Leonard handed out 45 assists and picked up 14 digs.

NICE BLOCK – Katie Isham and Cooper Martin go up for the block. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

TAKING CHARGE – Makayla Mayfield delivers one of her 17 kills during the Region II final Saturday against Argyle. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

GO TEAM – Three Decatur fans show their support during the region final. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

BIG PLAY – Caroline Lowery reacts after one of her 10 kills Saturday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

BIG POINT – Darci Billmire get the ball past the Argyle defense. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

TOUGH TIMES – Cooper Martin sheds a tear after Argyle defeated Decatur in the Region II final at Mesquite Saturday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

PEP TALK – Head coach Claire Rose talks to her team about final preparations before Saturday’s game. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

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