Lady Pi­o­neers de­feat De­catur

Westside Eagle-Observer - - SPORTS - By Mike Eck­els meck­els@nwadg.com

GEN­TRY — For the De­catur Lady Bull­dogs vol­ley­ball team, the trip to Gen­try Aug. 31 marked the end of a long week as it played the Lady Pi­o­neers in the third of a three-match se­ries.

Ear­lier in the week, the Lady Bull­dogs lost to Green For­est and Shiloh Chris­tian in a pair of con­fer­ence matchups. Gen­try proved to be a for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent as well, and the Lady Pi­o­neers took the vic­tory in three straight sets.

After the ear­lier games, Coaches Jessi Castagna and Ta­jhe Turner made a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions to their game plan which proved to work a lit­tle bet­ter, forc­ing the Lady Pi­o­neers to work for ev­ery point they made.

Dur­ing the first set, the Lady Bull­dogs fell be­hind quickly and were never able to catch up, giv­ing the set to the Lady Pi­o­neers, 25-12.

De­catur played a much bet­ter sec­ond set, tak­ing a five-point lead in the early stages be­fore a Gen­try time out shut down the Lady Bull­dogs’ of­fen­sive run. Six plays later, the Lady Pi­o­neers gained the lead. But the Lady Bull­dogs would not go down with­out a fight. They came to within one point, forc­ing Gen­try coach Court­ney Mill­sap to use a time out to make mod­i­fi­ca­tions to her game plan which proved to be De­catur’s un­do­ing. The Lady Pi­o­neers took the sec­ond set, 25-21.

Coach Castagna moved some of her play­ers to dif­fer­ent po­si­tions in an ef­fort to win the third set. The changes worked in the early stages of the set and the Lady Bull­dogs once again took a slim lead. But a se­ries of sim­ple mis­takes proved to be De­catur’s un­do­ing, and Gen­try took the vic­tory, 2517, and the match, 3-0.

With this vic­tory, the Gen­try Lady Pi­o­neers im­proved their over­all record to 3-2 and 1-1 in con­fer­ence play. The Lady Pi­o­neers lost matches, 3-0, against Westville (Okla.) and West Fork on Mon­day and Tuesday of last week.

De­catur Lady Bull­dogs dropped to 0-4 in the 1A/4A con­fer­ence race and 1-4 over­all go­ing into week three of the 2017 vol­ley­ball sea­son.

In ear­lier matches, the De­catur ju­nior var­sity lost its match to Gen­try, 25-10, 25-16 and 25-12. In the sec­ond set, De­catur went on a 9-0 run on serves by Joni Mof­fin. A time out by Gen­try brought an end to Mof­fin’s streak, giv­ing the Lady Pioneer ju­nior var­sity team the vic­tory, 3-0.

In the De­catur-Gen­try ju­nior high matchup, the Ju­nior Bull­dogs took the vic­tory, 25-27, 25-22 and 15-5, tak­ing the match, 2-1, in a tie breaker. This is the sec­ond win for the De­catur ju­nior high team, which de­feated North­west Arkansas Clas­si­cal Academy in the open­ing match of the sea­son in three straight sets.

Photo by Mike Eck­els

De­catur’s Talor Thomp­son (right) and Gen­try’s Han­nah Boss (left) bat the ball back and forth dur­ing the vol­ley­ball match at Pioneer Gym in Gen­try on Aug. 31.

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