SWEETWATER — Brownwood's first volleyball match under new head coach Jessica Withrow was a success Tuesday night, as the Lady Lions chalked up a four-set road victory, 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, over former district rival Sweetwater.
“It's a great way to start off our season,” Withrow said. “We ended up going four sets and in a way that's good because it showed me these girls can fight and we were able to finish and take care of business when we absolutely had to.”
As for the importance of winning the opener under a new coach, Withrow said, “I feel like this is really going to set the tone for the rest of our season. We figured out some good rotations and it gives us the confidence we're going to need going forward. This was a big one for us and we're very excited.”
On the offensive end, two-time district offensive player of the year Torrey Miller paced the Lady Lions with 19 kills followed by eight from Aleyia Cotton, seven from Olivia Fowler, four from Katelyn Windham, three from Lindsey Larose and two from Gracie Boswell.
Hadley Monroe distributed 18 assists while Miller contributed 14 and Windham and Davalynn Monroe finished with one each.
Miller also served a pair of aces while Cotton chipped in one.
Defensively, Davalynn Monroe collected 18 digs trailed by Miller with 17, Caitlyn Moody with 11, Annie Gillispie with seven, Hadley Monroe with six, Fowler with five, Cotton with four, Windham with three, Lakyn Ratliff with two and Larose with one.
At the net, Cotton tallied Brownwood's lone block.
Asked about the brightest spots in the victory, Withrow said, “We were able to run a 6-2 where we have two setters and that allows Torrey, who's a strong outside hitter, to get a lot of kills. Hadley being able to step up and set her was a huge advantage. I also liked that were able to mix up the offense even without Torrey and other hitters got kills like Aleyia and Olivia. Our back row passers, Davalynn and Annie, those two worked the middle of the back court really well.”
The Lady Lions (1-0) will be back in action Friday and Saturday at the Bev Ball Classic in Abilene.
In other season-opening volleyball action Tuesday, the Early Lady Horns came up short at Veribest falling in four sets, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 25-12. Also, Zephyr dropped in first match of the season in straight sets at Paint Rock, 25-8, 25-10, 25-15.
The Bangs Lady Dragons open their season Friday at the Albany tournament, where Early will also be competing. Zephyr, meanwhile, will take part in the Veribest tournament Friday and Saturday.