ARGYLE — There have been more downs than ups to Argyle's volleyball season, but first-year coach Megan DeGroot took a gamble and changed her rotation prior to the Lady Eagles' matchup with Decatur.
Argyle spread the ball around in the new-look rotation en route to sweeping No. 11 Decatur 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 on Friday.
"I took their jerseys away from them after we were swept by Sanger, and they had to earn them back," DeGroot said. "That was tough to lose the first district game and in the way we did.
"Tonight was the perfect example of us spreading the ball around and playing together. It was a huge turning point for us in this district."
The victory moves Argyle (17-17, 3-2 District 9-4A) back to .500 overall, which is a spot the Lady Eagles aren't used to being in.
"The past five years this team has been used to nothing but winning," DeGroot said. "We have great players and talent coming in, but this is a different team who can't take any opponent lightly."
Argyle earned nearly every point it recorded. Danielle Davis led the team in kills with nine. Paxton McGlinch followed with eight, and Mariah Hesslegesser and Kiley Lavelle each notched seven kills. Alyssa Wallace (16) and Mabry Ward (11) combined for 27 digs.
In the first set, Argyle got off to a hot start, leading 10-1 before former Argyle coach Clark Oberle called timeout to refocus his Decatur squad. Decatur stormed back to tie the score at 11.
The teams traded runs and tied five more times in the set before Argyle outscored Decatur 5-3 to take the match lead.
In the second set, there were seven lead changes before Argyle, which trailed 7-2, fought back and finished the set with a 5-2 run.
"We definitely needed that second set after letting them get back into it in the first set," DeGroot said. "I was proud of the way we fought after being down early. I'm just so proud of our girls tonight. I was hoping the new rotation wouldn't backfire, but they executed it to perfection.
For Oberle, it wasn't the reunion he'd hoped for. After hugging a few Argyle players prior to the match, it was all business.
"It was a little weird, I'll admit," Oberle said. "I wasn't here for a reunion when the whistle blew, but it was good to see some former players."
JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter at @Jimmy_Isbell12.