De­catur, Gen­try com­pete in Wash­burn tour­na­ment

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

WASH­BURN (Mo.) — Where would you have to travel to see two conference ri­vals play­ing in the same gym, on the same court, at the same time, with nei­ther team serv­ing a sin­gle vol­ley­ball to the other? The an­swer, Wash­burn, Mo.

Both the De­catur Lady Bull­dogs and the Gen­try Lady Pi­o­neers trav­eled to the South­west High School In­vi­ta­tional Vol­ley­ball Tour­na­ment in Wash­burn on Sept. 23. The tour­na­ment had two brack­ets, one for larger schools like Gen­try, and the other for smaller schools like De­catur.

The Lady Bull­dogs com­peted in bracket two of the tour­na­ment, fac­ing three Mis­souri teams — in­clud­ing the South­west Tro­jans, Wheaton Bull­dogs and Cassville Wild­cats — and one Arkansas op­po­nent, the Ber­ryville Bob­cats. In bracket one, the Lady Pi­o­neers faced the Crane Pi­rates, Di­a­mond Wild­cats and Verona Wild­cats of Mis­souri, and a conference ri­val, Huntsville.

The Lady Bull­dogs were de­feated by each team they played. But in the third match with Wheaton, De­catur took an early lead in the sec­ond set. A time­out and lineup changes by Wheaton stopped De­catur. The Lady Bull­dogs fell, 2-0.

De­catur car­ried the mo­men­tum from the Wheaton con­test to its fi­nal op­po­nent of the day, the Cassville Wild­cats. The Lady Bull­dogs jumped out to an eight-point lead on a se­ries of serves by Mailee Xiong. The Lady Wild­cat coach was blind­sided by the De­catur run, forc­ing her to use one of her time­outs. After a time­out, the mo­men­tum shifted in Cassville’s fa­vor and the Cassville girls even­tu­ally over­took the Lady Bull­dogs’ lead and went on to win the set and the match. De­catur, with an 0-8 record, was elim­i­nated from its bracket.

The Lady Pi­o­neers fared much bet­ter in their bracket, with a 2-6 record, enough to get them a berth in the elim­i­na­tion bracket. Gen­try was able to win two more matches be­fore be­ing elim­i­nated in the third match.

For the De­catur Lady Bull­dogs and the Gen­try Lady Pi­o­neers, the ex­pe­ri­ences of play­ing dif­fer­ent teams in a dif­fer­ent set­ting proved to be a valu­able tool. It al­lowed both teams to study dif­fer­ent game plans and to for­mu­late de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive strate­gies, giv­ing each the abil­ity to ad­just and grow.

Scores

■ Di­a­mond, Mo. - Gen­try, 25-10 and 25-21

■ Verona, Mo. - Gen­try, 25-27 and 15-25

■ Huntsville - Gen­try, 2513 and 25-17

■ Crane, Mo. - Gen­try, 2510 and 25-13

■ Ber­ryville - De­catur, 25-6 and 25-16

■ South­west, Mo. - De­catur, 25-16 and 25-13

■ Wheaton, Mo. - De­catur, 25-15 and 25-19

■ Cassville, Mo. - De­catur, 25-14 and 25-13

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