Lady Bull­dogs lose two at home

Westside Eagle-Observer - - SPORTS - By Mike Eck­els meck­

DE­CATUR — The Lady Bull­dog se­nior vol­ley­ball team had its hands full last week as it took on Green For­est and Shiloh Chris­tian at home at Peter­son Gym in De­catur Aug. 28 and 29. De­catur strug­gled to keep up in both matches and even­tu­ally lost both con­tests, 3 sets to 0.

Green For­est was up first, Aug. 28. A se­ries of mis­takes in the early stages of the first set quickly put De­catur be­hind the more-ex­pe­ri­enced Lady Tigers. De­catur pulled it to­gether and mounted a come­back on plays by Desi Meek, Talor Thomp­son and Des­tiny Meija. But after the 14th point, a se­ries of con­cen­tra­tion errors and sim­ple mis­takes al­lowed the Lady Tigers to move ahead of the Lady Bull­dogs and take the set, 25-14.

De­catur con­tin­ued its strug­gle, al­low­ing Green For­est to take the sec­ond set, 25-11.

Coach Jessi Castagna made a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions to her game plan in the third set and the Lady Bull­dogs quickly built a 4-0 lead. Green For­est took the lead mid­way through the con­test. The lead changed hands twice in the later stages un­til the Lady Tigers stepped up their of­fense, even­tu­ally tak­ing the set, 25-18, and the match, 3-0.

Shiloh Chris­tian rolled into De­catur for the third con­fer­ence game of the sea­son. But this match would prove to be too much for the Lady Bull­dogs, both on and off the court.

News trav­eled quickly among the De­catur vol­ley­ball team that se­nior Sa­vanna Dod­son lost her younger brother, Remington An­der­son, to cancer two hours be­fore the start of the se­nior vol­ley­ball match. With his pass­ing, the Lady Bull­dogs’ heart was not fully into the match and Shiloh Chris­tian eas­ily rolled over De­catur, 25-5, 25-7, 25-5, to take the match, 3-0.

In one re­mark­able play dur­ing the third set, the Lady Saints served to De­catur’s Math­line Jesse. Jesse’s re­turn went be­hind her and hit the ceil­ing above the bas­ket­ball goal sup­ports. Re­sem­bling some­thing out of the old movie “Tommy,” the ball bounced back and forth in the struc­ture like in a pin ball ma­chine. As it ex­ited, the ball fell to an­other De­catur player’s hands and was hit into the same place. It bounced around, gain­ing mo­men­tum un­til it fi­nally ex­ited at the sup­ports. It was picked up by Jesse again who sent it over the net to a be­wil­dered Shiloh team.

Re­mark­ably, one of Shiloh’s for­wards was on top of the plan and hit it back to De­catur, end­ing the short ad­ven­ture into “Pin­ball Wizard” vol­ley­ball.

After both teams met and ex­changed hand­shakes at the net, both De­catur’s ju­nior- and se­nior-var­sity teams gath­ered near cen­ter court to of­fer a prayer for the An­der­son fam­ily.

For a com­plete sched­ule of De­catur Lady Bull­dogs’ vol­ley­ball matches, go to de­

Photo by Mike Eck­els

De­catur’s Desi Meek sets up the ball for a team­mate in the sec­ondary dur­ing the De­catur-Shiloh Chris­tian vol­ley­ball match at Peter­son Gym in De­catur on Aug. 29.

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