Volleyball capital: Blue faithful cheer LEVB to final

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, November 17, 2018
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One Step Closer

ONE STEP CLOSER – Trinity Vinzant raises her arms as her Decatur teammates celebrate the Lady Eagles’ win over Melissa in the 4A semifinal Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For Lisa Heiens, the Decatur Lady Eagles’ trip to the state tournament was a special one.

Her youngest daughter, Heidi, is a junior on the team, and her other three daughters also came through the program. At every home match this season, Lisa was at the scorer’s table helping with stats.

As friends, family and students started lining up outside the Curtis Culwell Center Friday morning, Heiens conceded there were a whirlwind of emotions.

“We’ve been a part of Decatur volleyball since it started,” Heiens said. “I bleed blue. It’s something I’m proud to be a part of.”

Like they have done all year, Decatur fans turned out in droves Friday to support the Lady Eagles in the 4A semifinal. Decatur athletes both past and present made the trek to Garland to watch the Lady Eagles battle Melissa for a spot in the 4A final.\

Sea of Blue

SEA OF BLUE – Decatur fans cheer on the Lady Eagles during their victory over Melissa Friday in four sets. Decatur will play Needville in the 4A final at 1 p.m. Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Delaney Davis, who graduated from Decatur in 2017, made the drive to watch her alma mater. She had something extra riding on the game and was going to be rowdy when the match started.

“I’m going to lose the voice, for sure,” Davis said. “I actually bet my brother-in-law $20 that they win state. I saw it coming. They’re so talented – all of them.”

The Lady Eagles got an extra boost of talent at the start of the season when they landed senior libero Alyssa Wallace, who transferred from Argyle. Wallace won the state title with coach Clark Oberle in 2015 when she was a freshman.

She has played in the state tournament all four years she has been in high school.

Before the match started, Alyssa’s father, Tim, said he bought a two-day pass at the ticket office. He was confident the Lady Eagles would play in the championship match Saturday – and he was right.

Decatur knocked off Melissa 25-16, 25-16, 23-25, 25-19 to advance to the finals at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“This is the closest team she’s ever played on, as far as high school goes,” Tim Wallace said. “There’s no selfishness. Everybody does what it takes to win. It’s been a blast.”

From seniors to freshmen, the Lady Eagles have received contributions from everyone to reach the 4A championship match. In the regional tournament, freshman Jentry Lamirand buried a combined 20 kills in the region semifinal and final.

Friday morning, she put down six kills. Her father, Jim, said watching his youngest child make a championship run has been special.

“It’s surreal,” Jim Lamirand said. “Having two older boys, I just want it to slow down. I know how fast it goes. You take every moment and are grateful for every moment.”

When Melissa’s final serve went out of play to give Decatur the match, the Lady Eagles’ bench erupted – and so did their crowd.

Senior Satasha Kostelecky said the raucous atmosphere makes a difference on the court.

“It’s a huge deal to us knowing we have the support of our town,” Kostelecky said. “They come and watch us play knowing we could go all the way. That noise helps us with our energy level.”

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