Sweeping State

Lady Eagles bring home second consecutive state title


Submitted Photo

The Decatur Lady Eagles brought home another state title after defeating Celina Nov. 20. Senior Jentry Lamirand was named match MVP.

Allie Tribe, Editor

Dressed in orange or blue, fans flocked to the Curtis Culwell Center to support the two teams facing off for the 4-A state volleyball title. The stakes were high, with Celina making their first state appearance and Decatur stepping on the court with a title to defend. A season of hard work, long practices and learning to play as a team came down to one game, and the Lady Eagles refused to go home empty handed.

Led by coaches Catherine Foerster and Lauren Beville, the Decatur Lady Eagles won their second consecutive state title on Nov. 20. 

The initial reaction was disbelief with a side of relief,” Beville said. “We have been at a high state of stress for a few months because the pressure was high. We knew we were working hard and the shot was there, but the follow-through was the unknown.”

Throughout the season, the team had a target on their back thanks to their 2020 state title. Rather than let the pressure get to them, senior Jentry Lamirand says the team focused on the future rather than dwelling on their past achievements.

“Most of us felt the pressure, but we remembered that nobody could take away last year. So, we just wanted to focus on what we could control,” Lamirand said.

The Lady Eagles beat Celina in only three sets, and senior Hannah Smith thought the high stakes game and energy from the stands made it a night to remember.

Being a part of a team that has won back to back state championships is astonishing,” Smith said. “The crowd during the game was loud and made it a really memorable night for everyone there.”

Going into the game, Beville says the team wanted to stick to their strengths and put their best foot forward for every set.

“The game plan was to control their outsides and make them be out of system with good serving and attacking them. We knew we just had to play the same game we have been playing on our side with a focus on shutting down their outside,” Beville said. “We pride ourselves on our passing and defense, and we knew if that showed up we would do what we hoped for all year long.”

This is Decatur’s third state title in four seasons, and the team will be losing six seniors, including Lamirand, Smith, Dakota Hartman, Kaylee Peterson, Bayli Miller and Grace Lowery. 

For Lamirand, her senior season ended on a high note with her second consecutive state championship and her second consecutive Championship Match MVP award. This year, she ended the game with 18 kills, five blocks, eight digs and four assists. 

While Lamirand got the MVP award, she wasn’t the only senior to end the season with honors. Lamirand was joined by Hartman, Peterson and Miller on the 4-A All Tournament Team. 

Along with the accolades, all four seniors have committed to play volleyball in college. Lamirand committed to SMU, Hartman signed to Lehigh University, Peterson committed to New Mexico State University and Miller signed to West Texas A&M. 

While the roster for the Lady Eagles might look a little different next year, the team is focusing on enjoying their win before worrying about next season’s unknowns.

“I do not know that there is an exact feeling for this,” Beville said. “It is so special to be a part of one state team, but to be a part of two in a row is something that most coaches dream of.”