(Nov. 8, 2013) The Stephen Decatur volleyball team’s season came to an end last Friday at the hands of the Northeast Eagles of Anne Arundel County.
The fifth-seeded Eagles traveled to Berlin on Nov. 1 to battle the No. 4 Seahawks in first-round action of Section I of the 3A South Regional tournament.
Northeast took the first game, 25-14.
“The first game I think we were making silly mistakes [and] we made it a little too easy for the other team,” said Decatur Coach Sarah Zimmer. “The second game I thought we played smarter and we made some great plays.”
Points were traded in the second game. Tied 12-12, Decatur went on a 6-1 run to pull ahead 18-13. Northeast evened the score at 22-22, but a service error and hit out of bounds by the Eagles put the Seahawks one point away from winning the second game.
Senior captain Taylor Black secured the 25-22 victory for the home team with a kill.
“I think the first and the second game were very similar. They seemed really excited, really pumped up,” Zimmer said. “They were talking, they were moving [and] passing was on. We’ve done a lot with passing, so that was great to see that it was actually working. Again, communication was great and the energy was there so we were able to edge them out.”
Zimmer said the Seahawks had momentum going into the third game, but once her players began making errors “we kind of started to get a little defeated and then we just lost the things we had in the first two games.”
Decatur lost the third game, 25-18.
“Our communication broke down and our passing wasn’t quite there,” Zimmer said.
After the third game, Zimmer tried to motivate the Seahawks and told them that Northeast was beatable and the Eagles were not a better team. She said they needed to play smart and get their passes on point.
Trailing 14-8 in the fourth game, Decatur fought back to within one point (14-13), but the Berlin squad was unable to pull ahead. Northeast won the game, 25-17 to take the match.
“After the match I told them to ‘keep their heads up, there was nothing to be ashamed of, they played hard,’ but I’m sure it’s a little bittersweet especially for the seniors,” Zimmer said.
Black led the Decatur offense with five kills and two blocks. Junior Hannah Adkins had four kills and two blocks. On defense, senior Sammi Quilter dug 13 Northeast hits.
Decatur finished the season 8-8.
“I thought [the season] was kind of like a roller coaster. Once we kind of got going in the season we were able to work on the weak areas,” Zimmer said. “Some games they came out and they were on and then other games they just seemed a little bit off. By the end, I thought they picked it up and the last couple of games were really great so that was good to watch.”
Six seniors, five of whom started, will graduate in May. Zimmer will lose experienced players, but there are several veterans who are slated to return next year. Zimmer said some players who competed at the junior varsity level will be “beneficial” on the variety squad in 2014.