Volleyball: New Coach, New Leaders Give Argyle a Different Look in 2017

Volleyball: New Coach, New Leaders Give Argyle a Different Look in 2017

New Argyle girls volleyball coach Megan DeGroot was asked recently if she had seen the latest preseason polls, which apparently had the Lady Eagles ranked pretty high in Class 4A. DeGroot hadn’t seen them – nor did she want to.

“I’m really not trying to [look at that stuff],” DeGroot said with a laugh.

Incidentally, Argyle is ranked No. 2 by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, which really isn’t a surprise considering the program has advanced to the state tournament four times over the last five seasons. Argyle won its first state title in 2015 and lost to Bushland in last year’s final.

But DeGroot represents a changing of the guard at Argyle. Not only do the Lady Eagles have a new coach, but they have a slew of new faces on the court who are suddenly tasked with more responsibility for a program with endless expectations.

DeGroot said the only way to manage those expectations and get back to the top of the mountain is to take it one day at a time.

“Everyone wants a state title, but not everyone is willing to work hard every single day to make it happen,” she said. “This is a clean slate. These girls are eager, and they’re excited. But they also don’t know what to expect. All we can do is take it one day at a time and not look too far ahead.”

This is DeGroot’s first head coaching gig. She takes over for former coach Clark Oberle, who left the program he started 18 years ago for Decatur this past May. Over the last five seasons alone, he turned Argyle into a state power while ringing up a staggering 188-47 record in that stretch.

But gone from last year’s 40-win team are players like Maddie DeGuire (Lubbock Christian), Halee Van Poppel (Belmont) and Allison White (Texas Tech), all of whom were responsible for the bulk of the production last year.

The cupboard isn’t bare, though. Six girls return from last year’s team, all of whom either started or saw significant playing time in the rotation. This includes seniors Danielle Davis and Sophie Betzhold, juniors Alyssa Wallace and Paxton McGlinch, and sophomores Mariah Hesselgesser and Kassidy Reeves.

“I like my team, and the best part is that each and every one of them is versatile,” DeGroot said. “I’ve got right-side hitters and outside hitters who can play middle for me, or even set. That opens a lot of doors because it allows us to change up the offense more often and speed the game up. Because they are so versatile, we can do that type of stuff.”

DeGroot said this year’s Lady Eagles’ squad will also be bigger than normal, meaning that she will likely carry 13 or 14 girls on the varsity roster. It’s all in an effort to not only be successful now, but continue to be in the future.


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