It was not the best performance from Decatur (36-3, 7-0) and coach Claire Rose knows change is essential before the playoffs.
“We have had two sloppy games in a row,” Rose said. “We’ve gotten away with playing mediocre, and we need to make some improvements before the playoffs.”
The Sissies (15-16, 1-6) jumped out to 4-2 lead in the first set and didn’t relinquish it until falling behind 12-11.
Bridgeport gave the Lady Eagles problems early. The Sissies’ Sabrina Garza held her own at the net, slowing down the Decatur offense.
“This was a much better showing than the last meeting in Decatur,” Bridgeport coach Rebekah Cummings said. “The girls were more confident and played with a lot of enthusiasm. We were slow to make adjustments on back-row defense, and Decatur hitters took advantage of that.”
After getting the first set win, Decatur fell behind again in the second game. Bridgeport led 5-3 before Decatur’s Makayla Mayfield sparked a run with a kill, followed by a Darci Billmire kill, to tie the game 5-5.
The Lady Eagles never trailed again, taking the second set.
The Sissies put up another tough fight in the deciding game three. After another early lead, Bridgeport saw it slip away midway through the match. A 4-0 run gave Decatur an 8-6 lead.
Bridgeport rallied back to tie things 16-16, but the Lady Eagles ended on a 9-5 run, capped off by a Cooper Martin kill to end the match.
Decatur was led by Caroline Lowery with 16 kills, 16 digs, two blocks and an ace. Mayfield finished with 14 kills, 14 digs and four blocks. Martin added five kills and four blocks.
Stormi Leonard handed out 28 assists and picked up nine digs.
Bridgeport was led by Mariah Clayton with 13 kills and a block. Tiffany Hawkins had 20 assists, four digs and two kills. Jessica Mares and Payton Tucker each had 11 digs. Garza added four kills, three blocks and an assist.