Brownwood first-year head coach Lorrie Beelby admitted the Lady Lions’ Monday practice was not among the team’s shining moments on the volleyball court this season. Unfortunately, that performance carried over to Tuesday’s home match at Warren Gym, which turned into a 25-15, 25-18, 25-22 loss to Class 2A Breckenridge.
“We played so sloppy,” said Beelby, whose team slipped to 6-15 on the season. “Quite frankly, we had a terrible practice yesterday. The girls know that and we just talked about that after the game. We didn’t deserve to win tonight. We didn’t work hard for it yesterday or today.”
Offensively, Maddie Oines notched seven kills for Brownwood trailed by four each from Kayli Waddle, Kristen Fuentes and Cynthia Ibarra. Paxton Vaughn finished with 10 assists, Naomi Rosato chipped in eight and Josie McClung tallied a pair of aces.
On defense, Jennifer Martinez finished with 17 digs, while Waddle collected three blocks and Sharday Melvin was credited with 2.5.
Breckenridge, coached by Brownwood graduate and former Lady Lion standout Victoria (Hernandez) Dudgeon, dominated the opening set.
Brownwood trailed 4-3 early, but the Lady Buckaroos reeled off five consecutive points to open a quick 9-3 advantage. The Lady Lions closed to within 10-9 on an ace by Alley Jowers, but Breckenridge responded with five of the next six points to stretch the lead to 15-10. Brownwood trimmed to gap to 16-13 on a service error by Breckenridge, but the Lady Bucks fired back with a 9-2 closing run to capture the opener by double digits.
The Lady Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set and, after Breckenridge pulled even, a kill from Waddle and a block by Vaughn allowed Brownwood to regain its three-point edge at 13-10. The Lady Lions’ final lead of the set came when Waddle recorded a block for a 14-13 edge. Breckenridge regrouped and chalked up 10 of the next 12 points, opening a 23-16 cushion en route to a seven-point win.
In the finale, the Lady Lions trailed 10-7 before scoring the next four points, which were capped by a McClung ace and Melvin kill, to grab an 11-10 advantage. Breckenridge posted five of the next six points to reclaim a 15-12 lead, which it maintained until a kill by Oines and a pesky serve from Waddle allowed the Lady Lions to draw even at 17.
Trailing 19-17, the Lady Lions reeled off three straight points, culminating with a kill by Oines that pushed Brownwood back in front, 20-19. Breckenridge returned the favor with five straight points to grab a 24-20 edge, and the eventual victory.
The Lady Lions will not return to action until 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mineral Wells.
“We just have to stay positive and come back and work hard,” Beelby said. “We’re off Friday so that gives us a few days to really work on some things, not necessarily prepare for a certain team. We can just work on ourselves.”
Brownwood has just two matches remaining before the District 8-3A opener against Gatesville on Sept. 27.