Decatur serves up victory for spot in Class 3A state final

Posted Friday, Nov. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Decatur’s Caroline Lowery had been on volleyball service runs before.

The junior found an ultimate groove Friday, sparking an 11-0 flurry that led Decatur to a sweep of Big Spring, 25-12, 25-22, 25-10, in a UIL Class 3A state semifinal at the Curtis Culwell Center.

Decatur (40-7) meets Bellville (41-7) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“I didn’t try to do too much, I just wanted to get the ball in play,” Lowery said. “My serve has a tendency to be pretty inconsistent.”

Lowery’s jump serve lit up the Big Spring defense and inconsistent wasn’t in the building.

Most of her efforts were quick, arching shots that were diving to the floor before they reached the net. Lowery had three aces to close out that first set and six total for the game.

Big Spring (32-14) tried to rally behind Erin Pollard’s 11 kills and Morgan Seaton’s two blocks.

But holding the lead for much of the second set, was about as much as the Steers could muster.

Makayla Mayfield served two aces and knocked down a kill to rally Decatur into the lead in the second set 18-16.

Other than being down 3-2 early in the third, the Eagles held the lead and the momentum for good.

Cooper Martin finished with 13 kills to lead Decatur and Mayfield added nine.

Lowery also had seven kills, and the Eagles outhit Big Spring .355 to .162.

“I thought it said a lot about how we played set No. 2,” Decatur coach Claire Benedict said. “They really started to do some things that got us out of our rhythm and started hitting down the lines where we weren’t defending.”

Junior setter Stormi Leonard had 30 assists for Decatur and said keeping an even keel will be paramount Saturday.

“I think it’s a mindset, really,” Leonard said. “If we continue to go into this thinking it’s just another game, I think that’s good for us.”

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