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Lady Bulldogs achieve tiebreaker win over Lady Warriors

by Mike Eckels/Special to the Westside Eagle Observer | September 19, 2023 at 7:30 a.m.
Larea Echeverria/Special to the Eagle Observer Annabelle Bell delivers one of her power servers over the net into Lady Warrior country during the Decatur-Life Way Christian varsity volleyball match at Peterson-Owens Fieldhouse in Decatur on Sept. 11.

DECATUR -- Volleyball returned to Peterson-Owens Fieldhouse in Decatur on Sept. 11 for three big contests against the Centerton-based Life Way Christian Lady Warriors. While the Lady Bulldogs junior high A and B teams barely lost to their Life Way counterparts, the varsity picked up a big conference win which established the team firmly in fifth place.

The junior high B set the tone for the night as the team took the court before a crowd of Lady Bulldog volleyball fans. It did not take long before the crowd was drawn into the contest as the JHB jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, forcing the Life Way coach to call a time-out. It was the Lady Warrior coach's plan to regroup his team and swing the momentum away from Decatur and in Life Way's favor. The ploy failed, and Decatur began pulling away from Life Way.

But as it goes in all contests, the momentum suddenly shifted and Life Way began a run that closed the gap on Decatur's lead. Unfortunately for Life Way fans, the momentum switched back in Decatur's favor and the Lady Bulldogs JHB took the first set, 28-26.

In the second set, Life Way jumped out in front early and managed to hold on to the lead for the entire contest. The second set went to the Lady Warrior B team, 25-17, giving the Lady Bulldogs one set and the Lady Warrior one set. It was decided to allow both B teams to play a 15-point tiebreaker set. This set was much closer and the lead went back and forth between both teams. With the set tied at 13 points each, Life Way was able to rack up a pair of points, giving the Lady Warriors the match, two sets to one.

The junior high A contest was almost a mirror image of the JHB, with the Lady Bulldogs taking the first set 25-15 and the Lady Warriors A taking the second 25-12, forcing the contest into the second tiebreaker of the night.

And like the JHB contest earlier, both teams fought over the lead until the Life Way Lady Warriors JHA hit two consecutive points to take the set, 15-13, and the match two sets to one.

In the main event of the night, the Lady Bulldog and Lady Warrior varsity teams went after each other aggressively, bringing the crowds on both sides to their feet and shouting support for their favorite team.

Decatur took off first, building a six-point lead over Life Way. Once again, the Life Way coach called a time-out in an effort to swing the momentum of the contest in his team's favor. This time, the ploy worked and the Lady Warriors overtook the Lady Bulldog lead and began to run away with the first set. Decatur coach Desi Meek was not going to let the Lady Warrior run continue and she called a time out to regroup and stop the Lady Warriors run. And, as it was with Life Way earlier in the set, the momentum quickly shifted in Decatur. But the Lady Warriors picked up another run a few minutes later to take the first set, 25-21.

Undeterred, the Lady Bulldogs looked completely different in the second set, overpowering the Lady Warriors and taking set two, 25-13.

As quickly as the momentum shifted in Decatur's favor in the second set, it turned in favor of the Lady Warriors as Life Way took the third set, 25-11.

After a position change by Meek, Decatur came out for the fourth set with winning on its mind. Leading the charge were Lady Bulldog senior hitter and blocker Annabelle Bell, servers Daisy Fuentes and Leslie Hernandez, and blockers Brooklyn Todd, Heaven McGarrah and Giselle Fuentes. The Lady Bulldogs overpowered the Lady Warriors to claim the fourth set, 25-15, forcing the match into the third tiebreaker set of the night.

The final set was close, with both teams wanting the conference win. But Decatur wanted it more and the Lady Bulldogs went on to defeat the Life Way Lady Warriors 15-11 in set five and claimed the match three sets to two.

photo Larea Echeverria/Special to the Eagle Observer Lady Bulldog Heaven McGarrah (right) delivers the ball over the net as a pair of Lady Warriors blockers try for a short return back over the net during the Sept. 11 Decatur-Life Way Christian volleyball match in Decatur. The Lady Bulldogs took the win three sets to two.

Print Headline: Lady Bulldogs achieve tiebreaker win over Lady Warriors


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