PROSPER — Argyle may have earned a sweep in the opening round of playoffs earlier this week, but talk amongst the players before Thursday’s Class 3A area-round match against Nevada Community centered on how imperfect the performance really was.
“I think we learned from the first round and realized this is playoffs and every team is good,” Argyle junior Katy Keenan said. “We just didn’t play as good, so if we don’t keep the mental aspect of the game in place we’re going to get beat. We like to be tough on each other because we know what it takes. We were in the semifinals last year and remember what it was like to lose.”
On Thursday, Keenan and coach Clark Oberle said the Lady Eagles (32-9) looked more like the state’s No. 1 team in a dominating 25-9, 25-19, 25-13 sweep of the Lady Braves (20-13).
The win sets up a match with the winner between Decatur and Bonham in the regional quarterfinals. As of press time, scores weren’t available. Decatur (35-7) is No. 4 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll. Argyle beat Decatur 3-1 in a nondistrict match Sept. 24.
Keenan finished Thursday with 17 kills and senior Brooke Robertson wasn’t far behind with 11 kills. Sophomore Eighmy Dobbins added 10 kills. Alexa Bass and Strealy Sizelove had 21 and 18 assists, respectively, and Laine Lowry had 26 digs.
The performance was all-around better than Monday’s sweep of Gainesville, Oberle said. In that match, the longtime coach watched as his team cruised through the first two sets only to struggle in the third. Gainesville was four points from forcing a fourth set when Argyle nabbed five straight points for the win.
“We played good at first but lost focus and made too many errors,” Oberle said. “Tonight, though, we played much more consistent throughout.”
Community was the team that looked mistake-prone. In the opening set, Argyle jumped out on a 16-1 run thanks to 13 Lady Bear errors. The run gave Argyle a 22-7 lead, which it quickly used to close out the set. Community settled down in set two, but Argyle was able to break open a two-point lead with another 6-1 run for a 23-16 lead.
Keenan posted five kills in the final frame, including two in a 6-1 run to close out the match.