If the No. 8 Brownwood Lady Lions and the No. 6 Fredericksburg Battlin’ Billies cross paths again this season, it will be the Lady Lions looking for a measure of revenge.
Saturday’s Region I-3A championship game rematch between the Lady Lions and Fredericksburg was dominated by the Battlin’ Billies, who picked up a 25-16, 25-23, 25-20 victory at Brownwood High’s Warren Gym.
Strong net play, featuring multiple blocks, along with a steady diet of tips by Fredericksburg (20-4) frustrated the Lady Lions (10-12) throughout most of the afternoon.
Rachel Andreassian led the Battlin’ Billies with 15 kills, Baleigh Schaettner collected five blocks, Lauren Pyka finished with 24 digs and Cristin Herbort chalked up 32 assists. Christy Woerner, Sara Robertson and Molly McKinney each served three aces.
Brownwood’s effort was again sparked by senior Julie Kennedy, who recorded 17 kills, five digs and three blocks. Chloe Geye added eight kills, five digs and one block, while Sheldyn Miller finished with six kills, seven digs, one block and three aces.
Shelbie Harry contributed five kills, two digs and a pair of blocks, while Alicia Castillo added three kills, one dig and two blocks. Hadley Lindley chalked up four digs and two aces, while Sarah Underwood served an ace and finished with 24 of 39 Brownwood’s assists.
The Lady Lions struggled in the first set, which has become an unwelcome trend this season. Brownwood allowed seven of the first nine points and never threatened. As close as the Lady Lions came was 8-6, following back-to-back kills by Harry.
Brownwood remained within two points until a tip by Herbort triggered a run of six straight Fredericksburg points that put the Lady Lions in a 16-8 hole. An ace by Schaettner pushed the Battlin Billies’ lead to double digits, 19-9, and Fredericksburg’s lead peaked at a dozen points, 22-10.
Kills by Kennedy and Castillo helped Brownwood trim the deficit back to single digits, 22-13, but the Lady Lions could not mount a late surge.
In the second set, the Lady Lions jumped out to a 9-5 lead, but Fredericksburg quickly pulled even at 9-all.
Brownwood then chalked up three points, highlighted by an ace from Lindley, to regain a 12-9 advantage. The Lady Lions held on to a two-point edge until a kill by Andreassian and a Battlin Billies’ block evened the score at 16-all.
A block by Robertson, followed by a lift call against the Lady Lions, gave Fredericksburg an 18-16 lead it would not relinquish. Back-to-back kills by Castillo and Harry brought Brownwood back within a point at 22-21, but the Battlin’ Billies scored the next two points.
Following a kill by Geye, which made the score 24-23, Fredericksburg wrapped up the set on a kill by Andreassian.
The third set was the best start for Brownwood as a pair of aces by Miller and a kill from Kennedy helped stake the Lady Lions to a 5-1 advantage. Brownwood hit double digits on a kill by Geye, as the Lady Lions held on to a 10-7 lead.
Brownwood reached 15 points on a kill by Kennedy, which made the score 15-11, but Fredericksburg mounted another charge and pulled even at 15-all.
An ace by Lindley gave Brownwood its final lead, 17-16, as the Battlin’ Billies answered with three straight points — capped by a Schaettner kill — for a 19-17 edge.
A kill by Kennedy accounted for Brownwood’s final point, which made the score 22-20. Fredericksburg recorded the final three points, with the game-winning point coming on a volley from McKinney that found a hole in the Lady Lion defense.
Brownwood will attempt to bounce back Tuesday as it hosts Abilene Cooper at 6 p.m. The Lady Lions dropped a five-set contest at Cooper on Aug. 18.