End of road for Gator volleyball

The Decatur volleyball team was eliminated from the playoffs after a 15-10, 10-15, 15-11 loss to Kent Meridian Saturday in the South Puget Sound League tournament at Auburn Riverside.

“It’s hard,” said Decatur’s Cristina Null. “My senior year is over. It seems like this day is never going to come, but it does.”

In the third and deciding game, Decatur jumped out to a 9-0 lead on the serves of senior Jenna Demirjian. But the Gators began to fall apart as momentum swung to Kent-Meridian.

“In volleyball, especially in the playoffs, once you lose the momentum, forget it,” said Decatur coach Kelly Kirk. “We gave up a big run. We got stuck in that one bad rotation. It’s been a bugaboo for us all year, and it was the ultimate bugaboo today.”

The Gators scored only two more points the rest of the match as Kent Meridian rallied for a 15-11 win.

“I told my players, ‘If this is your last game, you decide how you want to remember it,’ ” said Kent Meridian coach Timm Hines. “They made a big decision.”

After dropping the first game, the Gators came back in the second. Senior Dekeidra Brewer’s serves gave Decatur a 12-9 lead. After giving up possession, Null’s spike gave Decatur a sideout. The Gators won 15-9 on Demirjian’s block and spike.

The momentum from the win carried the Gators to the 9-0 lead in the third game, but it didn’t last.

“It’s hard when you don’t have consistent players,” Null said. “We were ahead, and we just space out sometimes. We do well in one game, then the next game we don’t.”

The Gators finished the season with a 7-8 record.

“I feel bad for the seniors (Null, Demirjian and Brewer),” Kirk said. “They played well all year.”

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