Decatur fends off Argyle, stays unbeaten in 8-4A

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
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When Decatur and Argyle met for the first time in district play last year, Argyle swept Decatur in commanding fashion.

Decatur made sure history did not repeat itself Tuesday night.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Fending off multiple rallies and comeback attempts, Decatur escaped with a 25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21 win over its rival to stay unbeaten in District 8-4A.

“The way they embarrassed us in this gym last year, I think this was big for us,” said Decatur coach Clark Oberle. “The older kids know how awful that was. They wanted to have a better showing over here tonight, and I think we did.”

Decatur took control of the match early, going on a 7-0 run in the first set. With Argyle’s offense sputtering, Decatur quickly won the first set and went on another run to steal the second.

Up 2-0 and on the verge of completing the sweep, Argyle began to mount its comeback. Argyle erased a 9-3 Decatur lead in the third set, keeping Decatur’s defense on its heels. Oberle burned his final timeout with Decatur down 21-16, but Argyle finished Decatur off to force a fourth set.

“We stopped passing the ball in serve-receive and we couldn’t run our offense,” Oberle said. “That let them get into a rhythm. This is a game of serving and passing, and we struggled there for a little bit.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The two sides traded points for most of the fourth set, with neither team able to pull ahead. Decatur went down 11-14 after losing an intense rally but came right back with several clutch kills from Trinity Vinzant.

The sophomore led Decatur with 15 kills on the night, burying one seemingly every time Decatur needed a point. Senior libero and Argyle transfer Alyssa Wallace made a team-high 27 digs to help Decatur take the fourth set and beat her old team.

“Playing my old teammates, I’m sure they were out to get me,” Wallace said. “We just played together, and my teammates supported me. It’s definitely a big win.”

Senior middle blocker Satasha Kostelecky added nine kills and eight blocks. Sophomore setter Makenna Gantt tallied eight kills and dished out 19 assists.

Decatur moved to 26-9 overall and 2-0 in District 8-4A with the win. It was the first time these two schools had met since Argyle knocked Decatur out of the playoffs last season in the region quarterfinals.

Oberle said in that match, his team’s maturity and the pressure of a playoff game factored into Argyle coming away with the win. But on Tuesday, that was not the case.

Oberle felt like his team grew up — and took a huge step in the right direction.

“We were able to hold it together when Argyle was making those runs,” Oberle said. “Being able to finish was big for us.

“We have such a rivalry and such a history [with Argyle]. It was definitely an emotional win.”

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