MESQUITE — There weren't many surprises in the Class 4A Region II final between Argyle and Krum on Saturday.
During the regular season, the District 9-4A rivals had a pair of five-set battles, with the road team winning each match. Both coaching staffs had extensive film on their opponent. There simply wasn't a tweak or an alteration to the game plan that the opponent wouldn't be ready for.
"It is difficult, because when you play anybody three times they know all about you and you obviously know all about them. So it's hard on both sides," Argyle coach Megan DeGroot said. "I think you have to stay cool, calm and collected. You have to remember how to play your game. And it's a game of who makes less errors."
Argyle (26-18) was the more crisp team in a 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16 victory and advanced to the state tournament for the fourth straight season and fifth time since 2012.
"Our momentum was a big part of it, but it was also an element of having been there before," DeGroot said. "We know how to fight and what fighting looks like. ... [It's] basically who's going to fight harder."
The teams counterpunched throughout the first two sets. Krum opened the match with a three-point run before Argyle responded with a seven-point stretch. Krum led 21-17, but a timeout settled Argyle and sparked an 8-2 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, Krum made the key plays late and battled back from a 22-20 deficit. Tied at 23, Krum evened the match when Reese Robinson had a service ace and Cali Marquis stuffed an Argyle attack at the net.
Neither team led by more than three points in the third set, and Argyle took advantage of a pair of late errors by Krum to carry a 2-1 lead into the fourth set.
In the fourth set, Argyle took control of the match when it broke a 10-all tie and went on a 9-3 run, forcing a Krum timeout. Out of the timeout, Argyle outscored Krum 6-3 and clinched a trip to state when Kassidy Reeves fired home match point off a failed Krum block.
Danielle Davis had 23 kills, two aces and 16 digs to lead Argyle. Mariah Hesslegesser had 10 kills and six blocks, and Kassidy Reeves finished with 46 assists and two aces.
"We really put our foot on the pedal and pushed on the gas and finished it off [in the fourth]," DeGroot said.
For DeGroot, it's a success story in her first season as a varsity coach. The former Southlake Carroll assistant took over the program in the summer and said her team really started peaking during district play and shook off an average showing of 17-15 in nondistrict competition.
"Being a new coach coming into an already successful program and trying to change things, it was tough at first," she said. "And I don't think they truly bought in until around mid-October. And when they bought in and they really believed in themselves and believed in what I was asking them to do, they saw how good they could be. And they decided to put everything in the past behind them and start over."
Robinson had a team-high 12 kills and three aces for Krum (37-10), while Madeline Guffy had 19 assists and 10 digs.