A pair of ranked squads took to the volleyball court in Brownstown, and the bigger class emerged victorious.
Class 4A No. 15 Floyd Central defeated Class 3A No. 11 Brownstown Central 25-17, 25-17, 25-15 on Tuesday night.
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Even though the Braves fought back late in each of the first two games, the Highlanders utilized their strong starts to build leads and stay out of danger.
Floyd took six straight points behind a pair of aces from Molly Ottersbach to put the Highlanders up 10-3 early in the first game
Back-to-back kills by Brownstown’s Claire Pace ended the Highlanders’ run, and the Braves went on to win five consecutive points of their own.
A kill by the Braves’ Keeli Darlage ended a 5-0 run by the Highlanders at 20-14, but the home squad couldn’t muster the late comeback as a service error concluded the opening game at 25-17.
The Highlanders jumped on the Braves early in the second game, building a 15-6 advantage.
Three straight kills by Pace, Darlage and Brooke Meyer halted the streak, and the lead was cut to 15-9.
Brownstown would get as close as five points (22-17) down the stretch before an ace closed it again at 25-17.
The Braves have battled with slow starts in a handful of contests this season.
“Digging a hole has been kind of notorious for us all season,” Brownstown coach Jennifer Shade said. “It’s so hard to fight back. We’ve won some matches from behind, but we need to get a better jump on things.”
In the third, the Highlanders opened it up with their dominant front line by going on a pair of five-point win strings.
They would lead by as many as 10 before stopping the match at 25-15.
“Coming off Saturday (winning the Bishop Chatard tournament), I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t have a more enthusiastic start to the match,” Shade said. “What I would like to see is us being a little more prepared to play. They know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do – they’ve done it all season – they now mentally need to not make errors and stick to our game plan.”
Darlage led the Braves with 29 hits on seven aces and Pace had 19 with 8.
As a team, the Braves were 45-for-50 with three aces.
Brownstown’s C-Team finished undefeated at 13-0 on the season by defeating Floyd Central 25-10, 25-15 earlier in the evening.
Senior members of the cross-country, golf and volleyball teams were honored prior to the match.
Brownstown will play in a tournament at Carmel on Saturday before they host Class 3A No. 2 Providence in sectional play.