SPORTS HEADLINES

Net Gains: Decatur Lady Eagles

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, August 4, 2018
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The 2018 volleyball season is here. Practices have started and area teams will play their first games of the season next week.

To get you ready for the upcoming year, the Messenger previewed all seven Wise County teams as schools begin their quest to claim a state title.

DECATUR LADY EAGLES
2017: 4A Region II area champs

Satasha Kostelecky; Decatur, Middle Blocker. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

With a slew of young talent and several experienced seniors, the Decatur Lady Eagles are confident as the 2018 season gets underway.

Decatur returns most of its roster from last year, including middle blocker Satasha Kostelecky. The 6-3 senior has already committed to Rice University.

The Lady Eagles also picked up senior Alyssa Wallace, a transfer from Argyle. Wallace won a state title in 2015 and has played in the state tournament the past three years.

It has been four years since Decatur won its last state title, but the Lady Eagles believe they have the right mix of players to add another trophy to the showcase.

“State champions is what we’re going for,” Kostelecky said. “I think that’s going to happen. It would be amazing. That’s my dream.”

In addition to Kostelecky and Wallace, Decatur has a nucleus of sophomores and juniors. Makenna Gantt, Trinity Vinzant, Tayte Helton and Harper and Madison Lowery are all players coach Clark Oberle said made strides in the offseason.

“I think everybody is going to be shocked in the improvement they have shown,” Oberle said.

When Oberle got to Decatur last summer, Gantt was not even a setter. She now has a year of experience at the position.

“She was going through all kinds of growing pains [last year],” Oberle said. “She is going to be a lot more proficient at that position, and that’s going to make her more confident.”

Decatur will once again face one of the toughest district’s in 4A. The Lady Eagles are in 8-4A with Argyle, Krum, Springtown and Bridgeport.

Argyle was the 4A runner-up last year and is ranked third in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s preseason poll. Krum checked in at seventh. Decatur was not ranked.

The Lady Eagles split the season series with Argyle in 2017, winning the regular season finale 3-1. They were swept by Krum.

“I think our district is going to prepare us [for the playoffs],” Oberle said. “We’re going to have to show up and play every night. Once the postseason starts, if we’re fortunate enough to be there, it will pay dividends.”

Decatur opens the season Tuesday at home against Lake Dallas. District play begins Sept. 21 against Krum.

Oberle said his immediate goal for the team is to go farther than last season and win a district title, but admitted there was a buzz about getting back to the state tournament.

“You don’t want to say our goal is ‘make it or break go to the state tournament,’ but it’s in the back of our minds,” Oberle said. “I don’t think it’s out of realistic expectations. Our young kids are going to have to step up and play at a really high level, but I don’t think it’s totally impossible.”

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