Frenemies: Ex-Argyle star transfers to Decatur

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, August 11, 2018
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New Friends

NEW FRIENDS – Decatur libero Alyssa Wallace celebrates with teammates after scoring a point in the Lady Eagles’ win over Lake Dallas in the season opener. Wallace transferred to Decatur from Argyle over the summer. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Clinging to a slim 20-19 lead in the third set of the 4A Region II quarterfinal last year, Decatur was on the cusp of taking a commanding 2-1 lead over rival Argyle.

That is, until Alyssa Wallace took matters into her own hands.

“We were tied one game apiece, and we had a lead,” Decatur coach Clark Oberle recalled. “During Alyssa’s serves, they went on a run and got confidence and momentum. We couldn’t do anything about it.”

The senior helped Argyle outscore Decatur 6-1 to take the third set 25-20. Oberle burned both of his timeouts to try and corral his team, but the damage was done.

Argyle went on to win the fourth set 25-16, knocking its old coach out of the playoffs.

“We were really determined to beat them,” Wallace said. “Having our coach [Oberle] come over here to Decatur, it was very much a [rivalry].”

Wallace proved to be the difference in that match over nine months ago and is now a member of Decatur’s 2018 squad. She transferred over the summer.

In her three seasons at Argyle, Wallace played in the state tournament each season. She won a state title with Oberle in 2015 and was the runner-up in 2016 and 2017. During Argyle’s championship run in 2015, they never lost a set in the playoffs – winning each match in a 3-0 sweep.

“She’s got a lot of big-game experience,” Oberle said. “She’s been there and done that multiple times. I think that was the difference in our final match against Argyle last year. It came down to the line late in the match, and they were able to push through the stress and the pressure because they had been there before and my kids hadn’t.”

Argyle went on to make its fourth consecutive appearance in the state tournament last year, advancing to the 4A final. They were swept by Needville in the title game and finished the season 27-19.

Wallace earned District 9-4A Libero of the Year, leading Argyle in digs and aces.

“She’s a great player,” Oberle said. “‘[She is] solid in serve-receive and plays great defense. She will help us on and off the court.”

Oberle added one of Wallace’s best traits is how she serves, which often frustrates teams like it did Decatur in last year’s region quarterfinal.

“It’s kind of like a knuckle ball,” Oberle said. “She can put it where she wants to, and it has a low trajectory to where it barely goes over the net. That’s a tough ball to pass.”

Wallace adds to an already potent back line that includes Tayte Helton, who finished second in digs in 2017.

Autumn Finney, who was one of the captain’s last year, graduated. She was third in digs.

“Her coming in is going to have a big impact on our back row,” said senior middle blocker Satasha Kotelecky.

Decatur will once again be matched up with Argyle in the newly aligned District 8-4A, meaning the two schools will meet twice this season. Argyle was ranked third in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Preseason Poll.

Wallace may be in a new locker room this year, but big games are one thing that will not be new for her. Having played in the state tournament every season thus far, Wallace is hoping to end her high school career the same way it started – with a state championship.

“I feel like we can win state this year. We have a lot of talent if we put it all together,” she said. “We won my freshman year with Coach Oberle, so I feel like we can do it again my senior year.”

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