Braves defeat Northview to defend sectional title

SPENCER — The Brownstown Central volleyball team defended its sectional title from a year ago after winning two games Saturday to regain the crown at Owen Valley High School.

The Braves started out with a game against Edgewood on Saturday morning.

After losing the first set 25-18, Brownstown bounced back in a big way to take the second set 27-25.

“We came out nervous,” head coach Jennifer Shade said. “We had 12 hitting errors in the first half of that game, so I think just being young and having nerves, we just quite didn’t get ourselves ready to play. But in the second game, we made some adjustments and started moving the ball away from the middle where the big blockers were and made a couple of adjustments on defense, and it started working.”

Brownstown used that second set win to continue its momentum, and the Braves went on to defeat Edgewood in four sets — 18-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-16.

They served 88-92-8 and hit 143-173-55. Reagan Nuss served 18-18-3, Erin Singleton 20-20-3 and Kalee Borden 13-13-0. Borden led the Braves in hitting, going 51-59-21, Nadia Lakins was 24-32-12 and Kelsey Wischmeier was 26-34-10.

“Winning that second game was huge for us to get the momentum and go ahead and win,” Shade said.

The win advanced Brownstown to the sectional finals against Northview, which defeated Owen Valley 3-0 earlier in the day.

Brownstown took care of business in the title game later that night. The Braves defeated Northview in three sets, 25-14, 25-20, 25-18, and held the trophy high at the end of the night.

“It was awesome,” Shade said. “The atmosphere was awesome. Our fans were into it. After the girls have really worked hard through this tough schedule that we’ve had throughout the year and take some losses, I think it was awesome that we could come out and win a sectional after that.”

As a team, Brownstown served 68-74-8 and hit 95-113-40. Rylee May led the team in serves with 16-17-4, Jaydynn Yeadon was 17-18-0 and Wischmeier was 10-12-3.

In hitting, Wischmeier was 23-25-12, Borden 27-34-12 and Lakins 17-22-8.

After beating West Vigo in the first round of sectional Thursday, Shade said she wanted to see more enthusiasm and energy out of her team, and that’s exactly what the Braves brought in their two matches Saturday.

“I have to attribute that to our parents and our fans,” Shade said. “They kind of jumped on board with it. They got into the game, which got our girls into the game, and it just felt like a great sectional. It was a good atmosphere.”

With the win, Brownstown advanced to the Danville Regional and will take on Brebeuf Jesuit on Saturday at noon. The winner of that match will take on the winner of Cardinal Ritter and Tri-West Hendricks later that night in the regional final.

Brebeuf Jesuit is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, but Shade feels like Brownstown has prepared all season for moments like this.

“We do play a tough schedule, and this is why,” Shade said. “So when we come into the tournament and play tough teams, we give ourselves a chance. We are playing our best volleyball right now, and we have nothing to lose. I feel like this is going to be a fun week, and I feel like we are going to go in and be competitive.”