Lady Bulldogs end season at state volleyball tournament
DECATUR — It was an exciting time for members of the Decatur Lady Bulldog volleyball team when they walked through the doors at Decatur High School Oct. 22 and prepared to depart for Paragould and the team’s very first state playoffs. The team boarded the bus for its long journey into Decatur sports history.
Prior to departing, the coaches and players were given a grand sendoff. Students from both the middle and high schools formed a line from the main hallway near the office all the way to the bus. After the Decatur fight song and abundant cheers, the Lady Bulldog volleyball team headed off on a six-hour ride to Paragould.
After spending the night in the moderate central Arkansas city, the girls awoke fresh and ready for their first game. But the girls had a tough road ahead when they faced off against the St. Joseph Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the 2A state tournament at Crowley’s Ridge High School in Paragould Oct. 23.
St. Joseph went into the match at the number one spot in the 2A conference, with a record of 25-4-3 and a 10-0 conference record.
The Lady Bulldogs had trouble keeping up with the stronger and more experienced team and lost the first set, 25-7. Decatur tried to keep pace, but St. Joseph dominated and also took the second set, 25-14, and the third and final set, 25-8, eliminating Decatur from the state tournament in three straight sets.
The Lady Bulldogs ended the season with an overall record of 6-13 and a conference record of 6-6, one of the best seasons so far for the young team. And first-time coaches Tajhe Turner and Laramie Burge achieved something that every first-year coach hopes for, going to a state tournament.
Members of the Lady Bulldog volleyball team sit on the travel bus waiting for the start of a six-hour journey to the state volleyball tournament in Paragould Oct. 22. Members on the bus include Kalie McBride (bottom, left), Natalie Rodriguez, Coach Tajhe Turner, Ithzel Martine (middle row, center), Heidi Rubi, Stephanie Sandoval (back row, left), Bronwyn Berry and Mckinzee Swaim.