With the District 8-3A volleyball opener scheduled for Friday at Llano, the Brownwood Lady Lions took one final crack at establishing some positive momentum in Tuesday’s non-district finale against Mineral Wells.

After dropping the first two sets, the Lady Lions were on the verge of pushing the match to a fifth set tiebreaker, but Mineral Wells rallied late for a 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25 victory.

The Lady Lions, who are seeking a ninth straight trip to the playoffs, will head into district with a 4-15 overall record.

“Obviously I’m a little apprehensive about district because we haven’t had as strong of a pre-district as I would have liked,” said Lady Lions head coach Jackie Lang. “I don’t know much about our district other than Gatesville is ranked and Liberty Hill is always strong. Starting on the road is always a little more difficult but I told the girls if you can win on the road you can win in the playoffs.”

Katie Pevehouse and Brooklyn Stewart led the Lady Lions with 12 kills each followed by 11 from Devin Lyons, five from Brooke Montemayor, three each from Makayla Hight and Cynthia Ibarra and one each from Cassandra Mendez and Kayli Waddle.

Naomi Rosato distributed 22 assists while Paxton Vaughn chipped in 17. Lyons served two aces.

Defensively, Mabree Moore chalked up 26 digs followed by 13 from Lyons, 11 from Rosato, six each from Stewart and Mendez, five from Vaughn, three from Montemayor, two from Pevehouse and one each from Hight and Ibarra.

Stewart added two blocks and Ibarra recorded one for the Lady Lions, who were playing for the first time since Sept. 7.

“Honestly I wasn’t really disappointed with the effort,” Lang said. “Defensively we played one of our better matches, it’s still just the little things we’re not doing right. We’re picking up balls we’ve never picked up, but we’re still not in the right spot. We look fantastic cause we’re throwing ourselves on the ground, but if we were where we’re supposed to be, it would be just a routine dig.

“Our serving is still off the charts not good right now, but we will definitely improve on that by Friday.”

The Lady Lions were on the brink of forcing the fifth set after a Hight kill put Brownwood up 24-22 in the fourth, but Mineral Wells responded with five of the next six points to snatch the victory.

Lang attributed the difference in the game to mental mistakes.

“I feel like when things got kind of tight we made a lot of silly hitting mistakes that we don’t normally make,” Lang said. “We just needed balls that were playable and we were hitting balls to our mommas and into the net. A lot of those little things added up to some big points.”