MESQUITE — Argyle hasn’t been down often this season.
The Lady Eagles showed Friday night in the semifinals of the Class 3A Region II tournament at Mesquite Poteet that being in that unfamiliar position isn’t a problem.
Argyle dropped its first set against Longview Spring Hill and appeared to be headed for a decisive fifth set after falling way behind in the fourth, before battling back to win 23-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-21.
The Lady Eagles (29-9) advanced to the regional final at 1 p.m. today and will face Decatur, a five-set winner over Kaufman Friday night.
“We feel pretty good,” Argyle coach Clark Oberle said. “I know my team, and I know how bad they want it. I’m excited to see what happens.”
That desire showed after the Eagles dropped a close first set against a talented Spring Hill team that features middle blocker Savannah Voelzke, who will continue her career at Arkansas next season.
Spring Hill went to Voelzke every chance it got but couldn’t overcome a balanced Argyle attack.
Katy Keenan led the Lady Eagles with 14 kills and was one of three players who finished in double figures for Argyle. Eighmy Dobbins added 13 kills and Sierra James had 12.
Argyle battled back to take the second set and get back into the match.
The Lady Eagles needed that trio to come up with every kill it could muster in the fourth set, when Argyle had to battle from behind for a second time in the match.
Spring Hill ran out to a 10-3 lead and looked as if it would push Argyle to a fifth set.
The Lady Eagles rallied behind Dobbins, who was at her best at the end of the match. The freshman posted back-to-back kills to pull Argyle even at 19 and posted the Lady Eagles’ final five kills.
“I wish it didn’t happen like that, but where we are now with our fight and our will, we want it so bad we knew were going to come back and take that game,” setter Blair O’Brien said. “We are calm and trust in each other and our team.”
O’Brien’s steady play helped matters significantly. The senior finished with 46 assists and spread the ball around to a variety of hitters.
The Lady Eagles eventually adjusted to Spring Hill’s strategy to get the ball to Voelzke at every opportunity.
Bry Clark posted 18 digs for Argyle, which held Spring Hill in check late in the fourth set. Dobbins took care of the rest, landing kills that pushed Argyle’s lead to 23-19 and then 24-21.
A Spring Hill error gave Argyle the win and a berth in today’s championship match.
The Lady Eagles will play with the knowledge that no matter what happens early in a match with a state tournament berth hanging in the balance, they have what it takes to come back from a tough spot.
“I do feel really good about the way we have been battling back,” Oberle said. “We haven’t been in that situation very much lately, so it is good to show that resilience. We know that we are never out of it. We can always come back.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .