The Brownwood Lady Lions bounced back from a shaky weekend at the Abilene Bev Ball Classic, where they posted a 1-5 record, by sweeping the Dublin Lady Lions, 25-9, 25-16, 25-12, at Warren Gym Tuesday night.
The Lady Lions improved to 4-5 overall with the win and 3-0 in home games under first-year head coach Allison Smith.
“We played really good teams last weekend, and I don’t want to take anything away from the girls, but I wish they would have showed up and played their game,” Smith said. “Coming back and getting this win should be a huge confidence builder, especially winning the way that we did. Obviously there’s still stuff to work on, it’s still early in the season, but when they play their best they’re really good.”
Offensively, Olivia Fowler led the charge with 10 kills followed by Katelyn Windham with nine, Aleyia Cotton and Tessa Goodwin with four apiece, Jaylen Savage and Ashlyn Storm with three each, and Lindsey Larose with one.
Hadley Monroe dished out 17 assists, Kylie Wooten added 12 and Caitlyn Moody contributed three.
Behind the service line, Fowler tallied five aces while Wooten and Monroe finished with two apiece and Moody, Savage and Windham recorded one each.
Defensively, Moody’s 23 digs were a team-best trailed by Monroe with 14, eight from Fowler, seven from Windham, six each from Wooten and Becca Church, two by Goodwin and one each by Storm and Cotton.
Larose recorded Brownwood’s lone block.
“I’m trying to play everyone as much as I can,” Smith said. “I have a lot of good players around the same level. I’m still trying to find that vocal leader on the court and we’re still working on who’s going to earn their spot. They’re all earning it so far, they’re all working hard, they’re showing up early, they’re getting in extra work.”
Brownwood jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set with kills from Fowler and Cotton, along with an ace by Fowler. The lead continued to gradually increase for the Lady Lions, reaching double figures — 18-8 — on another kill by Cotton. The kill was part of a 9-1 finishing run for the Lady Lions, who picked up kills from Windham and Savage down the stretch.
Leading by an 8-7 count in the second set, the Lady Lions established some breathing room by reeling off five of the next six points. Larose’s block began the run for Brownwood. Windham added a kill to make the score 18-12, a kill from Savage boosted the lead to 21-15 and Fowler added the final kill, increasing the lead to 23-16.
Brownwood raced out to another quick start in the finale, tallying five of the first six points. The advantage reached double figures, 14-4, after a spike by Goodwin was returned out of bounds by Dublin. Leading 19-8, two kills from Fowler and one each by Goodwin and Savage helped finish the sweep.
“I liked the tempo of our play,” Smith said. “We’re working on faster sets and if we can keep our tempo, even against slower tempo teams, I really like seeing that. We did that really well the first set especially. The second and third set it came and went, so we need to be more consistent about that.”
The Lady Lions are back in action this weekend at the Nita Vannoy tournament in San Angelo.
“I want to see more endurance,” Smith said of her goals for the team this weekend. “I understand a bus ride can be exhausting, but we’re going to be riding the bus in district and we’re going to have to be ready to show up and play, especially the early Friday games.”