ABILENE — The Brownwood Lady Lions picked up two victories to start the Bev Ball Classic, then dropped their final three contests to finish the opening week of the regular season with a 3-3 record.
In pool play action Friday, the Lady Lions first defeated Jim Ned, 25-13, 25-20, then knocked off Class 5A Wichita Falls, 29-27, 25-19, before falling to Class 4A No. 6 Krum, 23-25, 25-12, 25-22 in three sets.
The Lady Lions advanced to the championship bracket where they fell to Class 5A Boerne Champion, 25-20, 25-21 and fellow 5A program Abilene Cooper, 25-22, 25-19 Saturday morning.
Despite the outcomes of the final three matches, first-year head coach Jessica Withrow is pleased with the strides the Lady Lions have made thus far.
“This was a great tournament for us to come to,” Withrow said following the conclusion of Saturday's action. “We played some tough competition against bigger 5A schools and were able to get the win over Wichita Falls and played four very close sets against Boerne Champion and Abilene Cooper. Finishing this tournament we know exactly what we need to work on and how to keep improving. I'm very proud of these girls and everything they've accomplished so far.”
Against Jim Ned, Torrey Miller led the Lady Lions with 11 kills followed by Aleyia Cotton with four, Katelyn Windham and Lindsey Larose with three apiece, and Olivia Fowler with a pair.
Hadley Monroe dished out nine assists followed by Miller with six, Annie Gillispie with two and Cotton and Davalynn Monroe with one each.
Defensively, Hadley Monroe tallied eight digs followed by Davalynn Monroe with six, Gillispie and Miller with three apiece, and Fowler with one.
At the net, Larose and Miller finished with one block apiece.
“We had to show up for the first game this morning and I told them whoever was awake was probably going to be the team to win,” Withrow said after the Jim Ned match. “They got themselves awake and started off very strong.”
The Lady Lions followed with another straight-set triumph over Wichita Falls.
Miller again led the charge with 11 kills trailed by Cotton with six, Fowler with five, Larose and Becca Church with two each and Windham with one.
Hadley Monroe and Miller both finished with 10 assists while Gillispie, Windham and Davalynn Monroe were credited with one each.
Miller added a pair of aces while Cotton served one as well.
Defensively, Gillispie finished with eight digs trailed by Miller and Davalynn Monroe with five each, Hadley Monroe with four, Windham with three, Church and Lakyn Ratliff with two apiece and Cotton, Larose and Caitlyn Moody with one apiece.
At the net, Larose and Cotton notched two blocks while Windham and Miller added one each.
“I'm very excited about the girls,” Withrow said following Friday's action. “I just told them I honestly wasn't sure what to expect going into this. I had a goal of reaching the gold bracket but I wasn't sure if we could pull it off, but they really surprised me and worked their butts off.”
Brownwood appeared on the verge of a third consecutive sweep, the pool play championship and an early season upset of a state-ranked for before surrendering the final two sets of the day to Krum.
Miller matched her season-best with 19 kills followed by Cotton and Fowler with four apiece, Church with three, Windham with two and Larose and Ratliff with one each.
Hadley Monroe distributed 20 assists while Miller added four, Gillispie recorded a pair and Windham had one.
Moody, Gillispie and Davalynn Monroe served aces for the Lady Lions.
On the defensive end, Davalynn Monroe tallied 17 digs trailed by Miller with 12, Hadley Monroe with 10, Cotton with seven, Gillispie with six, Ratliff with four, Moody and Church with three apiece and Fowler with one.
Blocks belonged to Church, Miller, Larose and Windham.
“Against Krum, it allowed me to see what we need to work on and get better at,” Withrow said following Brownwood's first setback of the season. “They've been working with a new coach as a new team for a week and a half. They've already come leaps and bounds from day one. If we were to face Krum again in the playoffs, and we'd have to go a long way to do that, I'd feel confident.”
In Saturday's loss to Boerne Champion, Miller notched seven kills followed by Cotton and Church with four each, Windham with two and Larose and Hadley Monroe with one apiece.
Hadley Monroe finished with eight assists and Miller added seven while Davalynn Monroe, who served the only ace, was also credited with one assist.
Defensively, Gillispie collected 10 digs trailed by Miller with nine, Davalynn Monroe with six, Moody with five, Hadley Monroe with two and Church, Fowler and Cotton with one each.
At the net, Miller tallied two blocks while Cotton, Windham and Larose finished with one apiece.
Against Cooper, Miller notched 13 kills trailed by three from Cotton, two from Fowler and one each from Church, Larose and Hadley Monroe.
Hadley Monroe finished with 10 assists, Miller added four and Davalynn Monroe collected one.
Behind the service line, Gillispie, Cotton and Hadley Monroe each recorded an ace.
On the defensive end, Davalynn Monroe and Hadley Monroe each collected nine digs followed by Miller with seven, Gillispie with three, Ratliff and Fowler with two each, and Moody, Cotton and Windham with one apiece.
The Lady Lions (3-3) will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday as they host Cleburne in the home opener at Warren Gym.