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Volleyball: Argyle sweeps into first

Profile image for By Rich Luna / For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Rich Luna / For the Denton Record-Chronicle

IRVING — It figured to be a battle to the finish when District 10-3A powers Argyle and Carrollton Ranchview played Tuesday. In the end, it wasn’t even close.

The Lady Eagles, behind the play of Blair O’Brien and Alyssa Bruton, overcame a slow start to run away with a three-game sweep over Ranchview 25-15, 25-12, 25-11 and take sole possession of first place in the district race.

“We started slow,” said O’Brien, who led Argyle with 17 assists, 16 digs and two aces. “We know we can’t do that. We need to come out stronger. After the slow start, we picked it up everywhere and were more focused.”

Both teams, with strong traditions in volleyball, entered the match unbeaten in district play.

The Lady Eagles (24-10, 3-0) returned seven lettermen, including five with starting experience, from a team that won District 9-3A last season and lost to perennial power and eventual state champion Lovejoy in the regional quarterfinals.

Realignment moved them to District 10-3A this season, setting up the head-to-head with Ranchview (9-21, 1-1), which has won the title in that district the last four seasons.

For the first half of the first game, the two teams stayed close. After the Lady Wolves tied the score at 6-6, neither team could build more than a one-point lead over the next 11 points. That’s when Argyle started to take control.

A close line call went in favor of the Lady Eagles for a 13-11 lead before two service errors and a poor set by Ranchview, along with kills by Argyle’s Eighmy Dobbins and O’Brien pushed the Lady Eagles’ lead to 18-14.

Ranchview coach Rafael Lopez called time to regroup, but it was Argyle that came out of the timeout stronger, giving up only one point the rest of the game.

Argyle took advantage of six service errors by the Lady Wolves in the second set. The Lady Eagles built a 13-5 lead, gave up one point, and then reeled off five straight points to set up the victory.

The third game was more of the same as Argyle quickly built a 17-7 lead and gave up only four more points the rest of the match.

Dobbins finished with six kills, while Bruton, Sierra James and Brooke Robertson each had five kills. Laine Lowry added 13 digs.

“This was a good game for our confidence,” Bruton said. “Everything is starting to come together, the chemistry of the team. Coach [Clark Oberle] wanted us to pick up our energy and we all starting to get going. We know that every point matters.”

Oberle knows that is especially critical with only five teams in the district. His team has a chance to finish the first half of district play unbeaten when the Lady Eagles play host to Aubrey on Friday.

“I thought we started flat, but we did finish strong,” he said. “After [Lopez] called that timeout, we got more aggressive. I liked seeing that. You always want to time things so that you’re playing your best in district and I think we’re on track. There are still some things we can do to get better, but I feel good with where we are right now.”