The opponent was the same, but the result was drastically different as the Brownwood Lady Lions opened their District 16-4A volleyball schedule against Waco High’s Lady Lions for the second year in a row.
Brownwood was dealt a five-set loss a year ago, but rolled to a three-set sweep — 25-23, 25-15, 25-13 — Tuesday night at Warren Gym.
“They weren’t as good as I anticipated them to be, but we still played good,” said Lady Lion middle blocker Julie Kennedy.
Added setter Raelee Taylor, “This year we wanted to come back, get our respect back and show that we can really play.”
The tide turned for good midway through the first set after a Brownwood time out.
The Lady Lions trailed 18-13, but came out of the break with eight straight points to grab a 21-18 advantage.
Flynn Harrell’s kill started the run, then after an unforced error on Waco High, Moochie Galloway recorded a block and a spike for points. Alex Williams then served the game-tying ace.
Two more kills from Harrell and a spike into the net by Waco completed the string of eight straight Brownwood points.
“We just had to get back to our game,” Taylor said. “We started playing to their level a little, and we just had to play as a team and play Lady Lion volleyball.”
The Lady Lions added kills from Galloway, LaCresha Williams and Harrell to close out the first set.
In the second set, the Lady Lions built an 8-4 edge, but Waco High roared back to take a 10-9 lead.
A service error allowed the Lady Lions to draw even at 10-all, then Ta’Kenda Cotton’s kill put Brownwood up for good, 11-10.
Taylor followed with an ace and two more Waco miscues increased the lead to 14-10.
The Lady Lions finished with 11 of the final 16 points. Alex Williams and Chloe Geye teamed up for a block and a point, as did Harrell and Geye.
Cotton served an ace, Kennedy chalked up a kill, Williams had a spike for a point and Cotton’s tip ended the second set.
The third set was all Lady Lions as Brownwood scored the first five points and 10 of the first 11.
Harrell had four kills, Kennedy and Galloway had spikes that resulted in points and Cotton served an ace during the opening run.
The lead peaked at 13 points — 17-4 — following a Galloway serve that Waco High could not return.
“It’s good for us to play with that type of intensity,” Kennedy said. “Sometimes when we do things wrong like we did early, it’s easy to get down on yourself. But we did a good job tonight playing as a team and helping each other out.”
The Lady Lions will be back in action Friday when they visit district favorite Midway.
The Pantherettes entered 16-4A action ranked No. 1 in the state by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Fellow 16-4A school Copperas Cove is ranked No. 3.