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Steppin’ up: Lady Eagles flex their muscles against Aledo

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, August 24, 2013

The No. 3 Decatur Lady Eagles showed how good they can be in 2013.

In their home opener Tuesday, Decatur (6-2) knocked off the No. 3 team in Class 4A, Aledo, 16-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-23.

High Flying Start

HIGH FLYING START – Decatur’s Cooper Martin slams down one of her nine kills during the Lady Eagles’ win over Aledo Tuesday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“After the way we started I was proud of the girls for recovering,” Decatur coach Claire Benedict said. “They [Aledo] are a really good team that is well coached they have a strong middle, a strong defensive line, and they serve the ball well.”

After falling in game one, the Lady Eagles rallied to turn the momentum in game two. Decatur trailed early but came back to tie the game 8-8. They wouldn’t trail again until Aledo took a 21-20 advantage. A kill by Makayla Mayfield put Decatur back on top 22-21. She ended the game with another kill for a 27-25 win.

Mayfield finished with a tremendous line of 21 kills, 31 digs and five aces.

“Game two was a momentum-changer for sure, especially after game one,” Benedict said. “We had some people that came off the bench that performed well for us, and that was the difference in the game.”

Decatur rode the high of game two to a large early lead in game three. They took a 13-4 advantage before Aledo started chipping away.

A 16-7 Lady Bearkat run tied the game 20-20. The Lady Eagles held tough down the stretch and ended it with a Cooper Martin kill.

“We did not pass great, but we were smart and did a good job of getting the ball to people who were terminating it,” Benedict said. “Our setter [Stormi Leonard] did a good job getting the ball to girls that were getting kills.”

Aledo jumped on top in game four 19-15, before a Decatur timeout. The Lady Eagles responded with a 7-3 run to tie the game at 22 and eventually clinched the match.

Benedict said they made a few adjustments in those final three games.

“We changed the lineup a little bit and talked strategy of trying to contain some of their hitters,” she said. “This group hates to lose more than they like to win.”

Martin finished with nine kills and 17 digs. Darci Billmire and Dylana Hutchins each had six blocks. Caroline Lowery added 10 digs and Serena Estrada had 15.

Leonard handed out 36 assists and had 17 digs.

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