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Volleyball: Argyle beats Sanger in four, now in two-way tie for second

ARGYLE -- Sanger coach Tammy Niemczyk may have laughed Tuesday when she described the District 9-4A playoff chase as a hot mess, but she wasn't kidding.

Niemczyk's Lady Indians entered their match with Argyle in a three-way tie with Argyle and Decatur for second place. By the end of the night, Sanger found itself sitting in fourth place after the Lady Eagles rallied for a 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-19 win. 

Argyle (18-17, 4-2 district) and Decatur are still tied for second behind unbeaten Krum. Sanger (18-17, 3-3) trails by one match heading into Friday's tilt with Decatur.

"On any given night, the top four teams can beat each other," Niemczyk said. "Tonight's game could have gone either way. The second set was the only bad one we had."

The win meant a lot for Argyle, which had its storied 66-match district win streak snapped by Sanger on Sept. 22. The rematch appeared to be going down a familiar path as the Lady Eagles blew a five-point lead late in the first set. Instead, Argyle won the next three.

Danielle Davis led Argyle with 16 kills while Mariah Hesselgesser and Sophie Betzhold added 13 and 10, respectively. Another key to keeping Argyle one step ahead of the Lady Indians was the play of Alyssa Wallace, who pulled in 33 digs against a ferocious assault that included 11 kills apiece from Sanger's Gabbi Roelofs and Sydney Price. 

Beyond Roelofs and Price, Kenzie Turkoly and Kaela Wilkerson chipped in seven kills apiece for the Lady Indians. Turkoly added 26 assists and one of Sanger's 15 aces.

But it wasn't enough, and Argyle has beaten Decatur and Sanger in back-to-back matches.

"It's the same thing I've been saying with the consistency factor," Argyle coach Megan DeGroot said. "We played well against Decatur and, even though we could have played better tonight, these girls found a way to pull this one out.

"It's nice to be able to fight through those ups and downs and still pull out the win."

Much of the magic that worked for Sanger disappeared after the opening set. Argyle led 19-9 in the second and never trailed in the frame as it knotted the match at one win apiece. Sanger only trailed 17-14 in the third set when Argyle used a 6-1 run to eventually win 23-18.

With the fourth set tied at 14, Argyle scored 11 of the final 16 points for the win.

"Even though this is a tough district, these girls are battling," DeGroot said. "We have a chance to end this thing on a more positive note than how we started."

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.