The Brownwood Lady Lions remained in the driver’s seat in District 5-4A volleyball action Tuesday night at Warren Gym, notching a 25-22, 27-25, 25-20 home victory over the Sweetwater Lady Mustangs.
Brownwood (16-14, 2-0), which was coming off a three-set victory at Big Spring on Friday, handed Sweetwater (1-1 in district) its first league defeat after the Lady Mustangs swept Snyder this past Friday.
“I knew Sweetwater was a good team coming into this game so I’m really proud of the way my girls responded,” said Lady Lions first-year head coach Julie Preiss. “In the past when they’ve been pushed by teams they fall down but this time they pushed back. I’m pretty excited.”
After the Lady Lions outlasted Sweetwater in the opening set, the turning point occurred at the conclusion of the second set.
Leading 20-17 following a kill by Ashlynn Patteson, the Lady Lions fell victim to a five-point surge by Sweetwater and faced a 22-20 deficit. Kills from Patteson and Aleyia Cotton and a spike by Tyra Cotton allowed Brownwood to reclaim a 23-22 edge. Sweetwater regained a 24-23 edge, but an errant spike allowed the Lady Lions to stay alive, tied at 24. Down again, 25-24, a kill by Aleyia Cotton evened the score, then Torrey Miller followed with a pair of violent spikes to secure the victory for Brownwood.
“If we would have lost the second set the girls would have been down and it would have probably put us into a five-set game, so that was huge,” Preiss said.”
In the third and final set, Brownwood overcame an early 12-6 deficit to pull even at 15. Then Brownwood used a 9-2 run to establish a 24-17 cushion.
“I had to make sure in the third set the girls understood that this wasn’t over yet and they had to stay focused for another set,” Preiss said.
Down by six in the finale, two spikes, a block and an ace by Randle — along with a few Sweetwater miscues — allowed the Lady Lions to draw even at 14.
Tied at 15, three straight unforced errors by Sweetwater allowed Brownwood to regain an 18-15 edge. Smith and Miller followed with kills as the lead grew to 20-15. Leading 22-17, Smith and Patteson came through with kills to push the Lady Lions to the brink of victory. Following a three-point run by the Lady Mustangs, Patteson delivered the game-ending kill.
Miller finished with a team-high 18 kills for the Lady Lions trailed by Smith with seven, Randle with six, Patteson with four, Cheyenne Stroope with three and Aleyia Cotton with two.
Hadley Monroe tallied 22 assists followed by Miller with 14 and Stroope, Smith and Tyra Cotton one each.
Randle and Kayla McFarden served two aces apiece while Miller and Annie Gillispie chipped in one each.
On the defensive end, McFarden tallied 30 digs trailed by Randle with 21, Miller with 14, Monroe with 11, Smith with eight, Gillispie with seven, Madi Gosch with four, Stroope, Tyra Cotton and Aleyia Cotton with two apiece and Alex Fowler with one.
At the net, Miller chalked up five blocks followed by Stroope with two, and one each for Randle and Smith.
The Lady Lions, winners of five of their last six matches, visit Stephenville at 5 p.m. Friday in non-district action.