SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur sweeps Fossil Ridge with block party

By Richard Greene | Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017
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Madison Lowery brought an appropriate ending to Tuesday’s home opener for the Decatur Lady Eagles, jumping at the net and landing a block.
Lowery and fellow middle blocker Satasha Kostelecky owned the net, combining for 7.5 blocks in the three-game sweep of Keller Fossil Ridge, 25-13, 27-25, 25-18.
“This was the best blocking game we’ve had this season,” said Kostelecky, who had six blocks to go along with eight kills. “We did a really good job of pressing over and closing the block.”
Decatur coach Clark Oberle offered even more superlatives about the effort at the net.
“It was the best blocking game I’ve ever coached,” he said. “Halfway through, I started wondering what’s the school record for blocks.
“Both middles did a good job at the net. We talked about being aggressive at net.”
Decatur was not only aggressive at the net but also the service line in winning for the second time in three matches to improve to 3-6. Makenna Gantt served three aces to go along with five kills.
“I’ve been telling them, if you win serve-receive and the service game, you’ll will a lot of games,” Oberle said. “It’s good to see the execution.
“[The last two weeks] have been a lot of fun, starting with first day and two new setters. Seeing the growth and improvement has been a lot of fun. They’ve been receptive and are trying to do what we are teaching them.”
The Lady Eagles’ growth was evident in the second set after letting a 20-18 lead slip away. Fossil Ridge took a 25-24 lead before Gantt landed a kill and then served an ace to put Decatur on top. Another tough serve by Gantt ended the set and put Decatur up 2-0.
“After the second set when we got down 25-24, I told them a week ago that we would’ve lost that game,” Oberle said. “We improved a lot at the [Denton Ryan] tournament. We’re playing with more confidence.”
It showed as Decatur put the match away in the third set. Kostelecky’s back-to-back blocks gave Decatur a quick lead. Gantt’s ace extended the Lady Eagles’ to 20-11.
Fossil Ridge closed within six before Lowery’s night-ending block.
Lowery had 1.5 blocks with six kills.
Autumn Finney put down seven kills.

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