JUSTIN — Krum coach Lynn Larson called senior Courtnie Roberts out of a class Monday to discuss a slight change to her offensive rotation to prepare for a third meeting with fellow District 9-4A member Decatur.
“[Larson] showed me her ideas and asked what I thought about [the change],” Roberts said. “She came up with a great game plan, and when we tried it out at practice, it was some of the best volleyball we’ve played all year.”
The simple move was to move Roberts — who usually plays on the front row — to the back row. It made a world of difference for the Lady Cats, who defeated the Lady Eagles 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 25-22 at Justin Northwest on Tuesday.
In the regular-season meetings, the teams split the series with both matches ending in four sets. Larson said Decatur’s serves put the Lady Cats in a bind in their loss, so she decided to place Roberts on the back row to receive those difficult serves.
“[Courtnie] did a really good job receiving the serve,” Larson said. “She’s smart and it worked to our advantage.”
Krum’s offense couldn’t be stopped in the first two sets. A trio of Lady Cats led the way, with Rhett Robinson posting eight kills. Roberts added six kills, a block and an ace, and Autumn Finney played stellar defense while adding seven kills.
In the third set, the Lady Cats trailed 4-0. The Lady Eagles extended that lead to 15-5 before Larson called a timeout to refocus her team. Following the timeout, Krum recorded a 15-8 run to get within 23-21. Decatur extended its season for a short time, winning the third set 25-22.
“I was really proud of the way our girls didn’t let up in the third set even though we got down early,” Larson said.
Krum kicked off the decisive fourth set with a 4-0 lead, but Decatur fought back and tied the score at 7. The Lady Cats responded with a few runs in the middle of the set, and the final kill came from freshman Reese Robinson.
“I was so proud of the way [Reese] handled herself,” Larson said. “They picked on her a few times, but she came right back with some great swings. To be a freshman in that atmosphere and get the match-winning kill — that was awesome.”
What’s next: Krum (35-8) advances to a Region II semifinal at Mesquite Poteet on Friday and will face Carthage at 6 p.m. Carthage swept Texarkana Pleasant Grove.
She said it: “I’m going to give it to Krum tonight — they swung to win,” Decatur coach Claire Gay said.