Volleyball: Not even close

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David Minton
Ryan's Faith Pittman (9) can't block a hit from Argyle junior Katy Keenan (6), Tuesday, August 27, 2013, in Denton.
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Argyle dominates in road win over 5A Lady Raiders

Going into Tuesday night’s nondistrict match between Argyle and Ryan, both head coaches were looking for certain things out of their teams.

Argyle coach Clark Oberle was looking for consistency out of his squad, while Ryan coach Cindy Williams was looking for her team to build on a strong showing last weekend.

Except for a brief Ryan run in the third set, the Lady Eagles provided Oberle with what he was looking for and showed why they are one of the top teams in Class 3A.

Argyle cruised to a 25-11, 25-10, 25-14 victory against Ryan at Billy Ryan Gym.

“We had a little bit of a letdown at the start of the third set and a little bit in the second set, but overall it was a pretty consistent effort,” Oberle said. “It was pretty good.”

Those were Oberle’s only gripes Tuesday after the No. 3 team in the Texas Girls Coaches Association 3A poll rolled to an easy victory over Class 5A Ryan.

Ryan kept things close in the third set before the Lady Eagles (9-8) closed the match on an 8-2 run.

Senior Brooke Robertson led Argyle with nine kills and five digs, while sophomore Eighmy Dobbins added eight kills and six digs in the victory. Sophomore Alexa Bass tallied 15 assists and three aces.

Oberle also was looking for his team to cut down on unforced errors, and the Lady Eagles did just that. Argyle only missed three serves in the three-set sweep.

In the middle, junior Katy Keenan helped stymie Ryan’s attack. Keenan compiled six solo blocks and one assisted block, accounting for all but two of Argyle’s blocks against the Lady Raiders (5-13).

Oberle said that, coming off last season’s run to the 3A semifinals, his team has focused on improving its blocking in the early weeks of the season.

“That is something I knew that was something we needed to work on this year, because I feel like that was a weakness last year,” Oberle said.

Williams was hoping Ryan could build on a strong victory against Birdville in the Lady Raiders’ final match last weekend at the Trophy Club Nelson tournament.

But on Tuesday her team struggled to find the sense of cohesiveness she said the Lady Raiders showed a few days prior. Williams said her team failed to show up to play against Argyle and made a lot of unforced errors in the loss.

“I was expecting us to come in after winning the last game of the tournament on Saturday with that drive and motivation, and taking that win to motivate us to play better,” Williams said. “I just don’t think there was a lot of focus, and you can see frustration on their faces. I was expecting us to be a lot more cohesive, especially after Saturday.”

Senior Susanna Strange led Ryan with five kills, while Shanna Daniels added 10 assists and junior Arissa Chappell notched 12 digs.

Tuesday’s match serves as the only midweek game for both teams. Ryan will look to rebound this weekend in the Arlington tournament.

Argyle hosts the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Tournament this Thursday and Saturday. Camillo graduated from Argyle in 2012 and earned a volleyball scholarship to Louisiana-Lafayette. Camillo died in December.

Oberle said that if his team is mentally strong it will be able to withstand the emotions this weekend’s tournament will bring.

“If we can prepare mentally, we can be OK,” Oberle said.

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.

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