Again the No. 8 Brownwood Lady Lions showed flashes of brilliance, but it was not enough to upend the Class 4A Midway Pantherettes, who chalked up a 25-14, 15-25, 25-20, 25-18 non-district victory Tuesday night at Warren Gym.
The loss was the first at home for Brownwood this season, which slipped to 10-11 overall and 2-2 in regulation five-set matches.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Lady Lions, who on Friday host No. 6 Fredericksburg in a rematch of last season’s Region I-3A championship game. Action is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
Julie Kennedy led the way for the Lady Lions against Midway, collecting 17 kills, 10 digs, one block and four aces. Chloe Geye added nine kills, three digs and one block, while Sheldyn Miller chipped in seven kills, seven digs and one block.
Shelbie Harry finished with seven kills, five digs and three aces, while Alicia Castillo tallied four kills and one block. Hadley Lindley notched five digs and served four aces, while Sarah Underwood recorded three digs.
The Lady Lions may have played their most impressive set of the season in the second against Midway, as they rebounded from an 11-point loss with a 10-point triumph that evened the match.
Knotted at 13-all, the Lady Lions chalked up 12 of the final 14 points.
A kill by Kennedy gave Brownwood the lead for good, 14-13, then Midway was called for palming the ball. The Pantherettes closed the deficit back to a single point, 15-14, before consecutive kills from Kennedy and Castillo stretched the Lady Lion advantage to 17-14.
With the score at 19-15, Lindley served a pair of aces, Geye contributed a kill and the Pantherettes made a couple of hitting errors as Brownwood closed out the win.
The second set was a far cry from the first, where the Lady Lions have struggled throughout most of the season. Brownwood also dropped the first set to No. 14 Llano this past Friday, but was able to regroup for the victory.
A kill from Kennedy made the score 1-all early, but Midway scored the next three points and never looked back. Another Kennedy kill closed the gap to 5-4, but Midway scored the next five points to seize control, 10-4.
Brownwood never got closer than five points the rest of the set, and fell behind 20-12 on a kill by Snyder. The lead reached double figures at 23-13.
In the momentum-shifting third set, Midway took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Breanna Snyder and eventually built a 15-9 cushion.
The Lady Lions attempted to rally, trimming the deficit to 16-14 on a kill by Kennedy. Midway answered with the next four points, sparked by kills from Emilie Fogleman, to boost its lead to 20-14.
Brownwood again clawed back, closing the gap to 21-19 on a Miller kill, but Midway reeled off three more points. The Lady Lions’ final point of the set came on a Geye kill.
Midway sealed the victory in the fourth set as, after Brownwood took a 10-9 lead on an ace by Harry, Midway scored the next four points — two on blocks — to grab a 13-10 edge.
The Pantherettes gradually increased their lead, with Brownwood coming no closer than three points — 18-15 following a kill by Kennedy — the rest of the set.