SPORTS HEADLINES

Lady Eagles win thriller over Glen Rose, advance to state for first time since 2014

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, November 10, 2018.
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Staring a 2-1 deficit squarely in the face Saturday morning, the No. 9 Decatur Lady Eagles looked up and found themselves trailing No. 7 Glen Rose 17-11 in the pivotal third set.

With their season and a trip to the state tournament at stake, Decatur needed a rally — fast.

The Lady Eagles got one from the duo of senior Alyssa Wallace and freshman Jentry Lamirand. Wallace sparked a 4-0 run from the service line to get Decatur to within 18-16, and moments later, Lamirand buried a viscous kill to cut the deficit to one.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The Lady Eagles completed the comeback on another Lamirand kill to win the set 25-23.

“I didn’t even realize [we were down that much],” said Decatur coach Clark Oberle. “That’s insane.

“I got amnesia or something. They refuse to quit, and they believe. The whole time they never doubted. That’s all you can say.”

Behind double-digit kills from three different players and 21 points from senior Satasha Kostelecky, Decatur (37-11) knocked off the Lady Tigers 19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 to win the 4A Region I title at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

It is the first time the Lady Eagles have made the trip to Garland since winning the Class 4A title in 2014. For Kostelecky — the only player remaining from the 2015 team that lost in the regional final — Saturday’s victory was sweet redemption.

“My freshman year, we lost in this round,” Kostelecky said. “Coming back and winning it my senior year, I’m on cloud nine right now.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Kostelecky, Lamirand and sophomore Trinity Vinzant recorded double-digit kills for Decatur in the win. Kostelecky led the Lady Eagles with 12 kills, hit .346, made six blocks and served three aces. She also eclipsed the 1,000-kill mark in her career at Decatur.

Oberle said getting his all-state middle blocker to the state tournament was a special accomplishment for him.

“Satasha, as good as she’s been for four years, she’s never had the opportunity to play at the state tournament before,” Oberle said. “She’s good enough and deserves that. That feels good for me, knowing she’s going to get that opportunity. Now we get to see her shine on the big stage.”

Decatur fended off several rallies from Glen Rose in the fourth set, as the Lady Tigers battled back to try and salvage their season. After the Lady Eagles went up 21-17, Glen Rose scored four straight points to even the score at 21.

But as they did all morning, Decatur responded one final time, winning the match when the Lady Tigers’ final shot hit the side of the antenna.

The Lady Eagles’ bench erupted, and Glen Rose players crumpled to the floor. A hard-fought match was finally over.

“The girls stepped up,” Oberle said. “We knew who their weapons were. The first set, we had seen them on film, but it’s different to see them on a film and play against them. In between sets we talked about how we were going to adjust. Our well-balanced attack and defensive adjustments were the difference.”

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