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Argyle Volleyball Wins First State Title

Argyle Volleyball Wins First State Title

For the last few years, the Argyle volleyball team was widely regarded as one of the more dominant teams in the state. The only shocker coming into this season was that they had yet to claim a state title.

That all changed late last month. The Lady Eagles swept Bushland 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 in the finals of the University Interscholastic League Class 4A state tournament on November 21 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. It was Argyle’s third trip in four seasons to the state tournament.

“Honestly, I think the pressure was last year,” Argyle senior outside hitter Eighmy Dobbins said. “I feel like this year was routine for us to come back. We always end our season at this place. We were prepared.”

Argyle (42-7) didn’t drop a single set in the postseason, and after eking out a tight win over Robinson in the state semifinals, dominated Bushland for the title. Dobbins, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi signee, finished with 10 kills in that match and was named finals MVP.

The win capped a magical run in which the Lady Eagles won their final 30 matches
of the season.

“We felt like if we established ourselves early and took control of the match, we’d have a pretty good shot,” Argyle coach Clark Oberle said. “Especially after the first set, we put the pressure on them at that point and could relax the rest of the way and do our thing.”

Oberle, the program’s only coach since its inception, slowly built the volleyball team into a contender over the years, but admitted not reaching the ultimate prize prior to this year was a hard pill to swallow. Argyle lost in the semifinals of the 2012 Class 3A state tournament, and advanced to the finals last year before falling short to Decatur.

Argyle came into this season ranked second in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A state poll. And that’s not just based on what happened last year. Oberle still has a loaded roster of seven seniors after losing just one senior to graduation in Katy Keenan, who is now a freshman standout at Texas Tech.

Leading this year’s charge was the duo of Dobbins and Oral Roberts University signee Alexa Bass, but the offense never completely rolled through them as juniors Halee Van Poppel and Allison White and seniors Maddie DeGuire and Emma Malone stepped up considerably throughout the season.

That balance was clear in the finals. White and Van Poppel finished with 10 and eight kills, respectively. Bass had 14 assists and 10 digs while senior Strealy Sizelove
added 13 assists.

“It happened for us this year, with a great group of seniors,” Oberle added.

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