Brownwood to visit Peaster at 4 p.m. Friday for playoff warmup
Looking to run the table in the second half of District 5-4A volleyball action, the second-place Brownwood Lady Lions were denied by the league champion Abilene Wylie Lady Bulldogs Tuesday night at Warren Gym.
With their 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 25-13 setback, the Lady Lions finished district play with a 4-4 record and a 14-19 mark overall. The Lady Lions will visit Class 3A No. 11 Peaster at 4 p.m. Friday as they wait to find out their bi-district opponent, which Brownwood will face either Monday or Tuesday.
“We feel pretty good,” Lady Lions second-year head coach Julie Kennedy said following the regular season finale. “The first three sets tonight were awesome, we played very well. Peaster is close to the top of 3A so we’re exciting to see them Friday.”
As for a potential first-round playoff matchup, Kennedy said, “Right now there is a tie between Iowa Park and Vernon (in District 6-4A), so we won’t know until Thursday or Friday who we’re playing or the location.”
The Lady Lions finished with 33 kills against Wylie (8-0 in district), led by 21 from Torrey Miller. Mikaela Smith and Ashlynn Patteson contributed four apiece while Cheyenne Stroope and Tyra Cotton each added a pair.
Davalynn Monroe finished with 15 assists while Hadley Monroe notched 11.
Behind the service line, Smith dealt four aces trailed by Miller and Patteson with three apiece and Stroope with a couple.
Defensively, Miller recorded 21 digs followed by 16 from Davalynn Monroe, 14 from Patteson, 11 from Smith, nine from Caitlyn Moody, six from Hadley Monroe, four each from Annie Gillispie and Stroope and two by Cotton.
Smith and Stroope collected three blocks each, Miller finished with two and Cotton and Davalynn Monroe were credited with one apiece.
The Lady Lions had opportunities to capture each of the first two sets, but Wylie delivered late knock out blows in each.
In the first, Brownwood took an 18-17 lead on an out-of-bounds call against Wylie, but the Lady Bulldogs responded with the next seven points to grab a 24-18 edge.
The second set saw the Lady Lions build a 21-15 advantage following an ace from Miller, but again Wylie fired back with nine of the next 10 points to seize a 24-22 advantage. A kill from Stroope brought the Lady Lions within 24-23, but the Lady Bulldogs tallied the next point to steal the victory.
“We just had too many unforced errors in the first two sets,” Kennedy said. “We gave them eight points in the first and eight in the second. We have to eliminate those unforced errors. We like to see less than five in a set.”
The Lady Lions flipped the script on Wylie in the third set as Brownwood rallied from a 17-12 deficit to extend the match.
Kills by Cotton and Patteson helped Brownwood creep within 19-17. Later, a block and kill by Smith made the score 21-20 in favor of Wylie. Miller then found a hole in the Lady Bulldog defense to even the score, while Wylie’s next spike went into the net to give the Lady Lions a 22-21 edge. Smith followed with an ace and Miller delivered a kill to pad the cushion to 24-21, and Miller later added the clinching point.
“We played really well in the third set,” Kennedy said. “Our offense was good and on defense we were digging up a lot of balls.”
Wylie bounced back in the fourth set, however, using a eight-point surge midway through the set to open a 18-8 advantage. Brownwood got no closer than seven points, 18-11, the remainder of the match, that coming after a block by Smith.