The Decatur volleyball team overcame a third-set rally to win the Class 3A state championship with a 3-0 victory Saturday over Bellville 25-21, 25-18, 27-25.
After losing the first two sets, Bellville (41-8) put Decatur on its heels in the third set, rallying on three match points to tie the score at 24.
Decatur junior Cooper Martin, who was named MVP, refocused her team in those tense moments late in the match.
“We had to remember what we were playing for,” Martin said. “After we were up two sets, we started cruising. We had to remember what we were playing for and how important this is, and how bad we wanted it.”
Had Decatur lost the third set, it would have been only the third set lost by the Eagles in the postseason. They dropped two to Argyle in a five-set victory in the third round.
However, Decatur (41-7) put together a 3-1 run after the 24-all tie to claim the school’s first volleyball state championship in its first state tournament appearance.
Decatur was pushed in the first set, but as was the case in all three sets, the Eagles rallied late to put the finishing touches on a 25-21 victory.
In the second set, it was a series of serves by Caroline Lowery that sparked a 4-0 run that helped clinch a 25-18 margin.
Lowery finished with 10 kills, second only to theMartin, who had 16 kills in the match. Setter Stormi Leonard finished with 33 assists. Coach Claire Benedict said throwing four attackers at the net was a key to the win.
“That seriously was everything we wanted,” Leonard said. “For us to almost get to the point where we almost lost that set, I feel like we knew what we wanted to do and what we wanted to get, and it had to be done right then. It was really awesome how we pulled it together.”