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Top Stories of 2013: Nov. 27 – In their first trip to state, Decatur brings home title

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, December 28, 2013

All season long, the Decatur Lady Eagles felt this was their time.

They more than proved that to be true last weekend at the state volleyball tournament.

Best in State

BEST IN STATE – The Decatur Lady Eagles won the school’s first state championship in November. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

As they had at the regional tournament, Decatur swept away the competition, leaving no doubt they are the best Class 3A team in the state.

TEARS OF JOY – Decatur’s Katie Isham shows her emotion after the Lady Eagles took down No. 1 Argyle on their way to a state title. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In seven postseason games, Decatur only lost two sets – both coming in the grueling five-game match against Argyle.

“This is what their dream has been since we lost last year,” Decatur coach Claire Benedict said. “They put in the work in the offseason, the summer, and every day at practice. Every day they walk into the gym, they have a choice – and every day they chose to get better.”

Decatur (41-7) took down the Bellville Brahmanettes (36-7) for the Class 3A state championship, 25-21, 25-18, 27-25.

Despite the sweep, the match was close in all three sets, especially the third. The Lady Eagles had to work extra hard for that clinching point.

After trailing most of the game, Decatur rallied back to tie it 20-20. A Cooper Martin kill gave the Lady Eagles a 24-22 lead, but Bellville wouldn’t go down easily.

A 3-0 run by the Brahamanettes gave them a 25-24 advantage, forcing a Decatur timeout.

“If they go out with the momentum, it’s going to be a tougher fourth set than what we want it to be,” Benedict said she relayed to her team. “It was a battle and the willpower within them – the way they’ve been trained and the effort they’ve put in – definitely allowed them to do that.”

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