Lady Bulldogs get first-time berth in state volleyball tournament
LAVACA — For the first time since it was conceived by two friends on a bus, the Decatur Lady Bulldog volleyball team is playing in the state tournament after its defeat of the Lady Highlanders Oct. 15.
Decatur and Eureka Springs faced off in the first round of the 2A West District tournament in Lavaca. The Lady Bulldogs needed the win in order to get an automatic berth in the 2A State Volleyball play-off in Paragould.
As was the case in the two previous meetings between these two teams, the Lady Bulldogs easily defeated the Lady Highlanders in three straight sets to cement a place in the state playoffs which began Oct. 23.
Fourth seed Decatur squared off against the first seed Hackett Lady Hornets in the second round of the district tournament Oct. 16.
In the opening set of the contest, it looked like the Lady Bulldogs had a chance to beat the Lady Hornets. Behind the leadership of Desi Meek, Decatur hit the court running as the team managed to keep pace with the stronger Hackett team. When the set was tied at 12, the Hackett coach called a timeout to regroup his bewildered team. After the timeout, the Lady Hornets pulled ahead of the Lady Bulldogs and eventually took the first set, 25-13.
From that point forward, it was all Hackett. The Hackett girls took the remaining two sets, 25-7, 25-11, to claim the victory and move on to the semifinal round.
The Decatur Lady Bulldogs are now 6-12 overall and 6-6 in the conference with a fourth-place finish in the district tournament.
Decatur traveled to Paragould Oct. 23 to face St. Joseph in a 1 p.m. match (after press time) at Crowley’s Ridge High School.
Stephanie Sandoval (Decatur 21) races to intercept a pass from Audrie Chaney (Hackett 10) during the Decatur-Hackett volleyball match at Golden Arrows gym in Lavaca Oct. 16. The Lady Bulldogs lost to the Lady Hornets in the second round of the 2A Northwest District tournament.