Utilizing 12 players in the match, the Brownstown Central volleyball team earned a 25-12, 25-21, 25-6 Mid-Southern Conference victory over Austin on Thursday.
In the first set, the Braves opened on a 5-0 run behind serves from senior Richayla Huff.
Austin battled back, to bring it within 9-8, before the Braves won eight-straight points behind a pair of kills by freshman Keeli Darlage.
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A kill from freshman Ashley Schrorer ended the set.
The second set saw a majority of junior varsity players on the Braves’ side of the court.
Brownstown built a 20-13 advantage in the second set before the Eagles stormed back to come within three at 23-20.
The Braves buckled-in, and capped the set with another kill from Darlage.
Reinserting their varsity lineup, the Braves went on a 10-2 run to open the third set.
Freshman Riley Nuss served-up nine-straight winning points as the Braves went up 22-3.
The home team had little trouble the rest of the way.
Braves coach Jennifer Shade wanted to see a stronger start to the match from the team.
“I just don’t think, mentally, we got ourselves ready to play tonight,” Shade said. “I’m a little disappointed in that.”
Darlage led the Braves with 29 hits on 11 kills, but the Braves finished 79-for-91 with 33 as a team.
Serving, the Braves went 62 of 73 with 13 aces led by five aces each from Huff and Darlage.
“We had way too many hitting and serving errors,” Shade said. “We need to learn that we can’t make that many errors in a game and expect to play well.”
Brownstown moved to 8-14 on the season and 6-1 in MSC play.
Throughout the season the Braves have seen a stark contrast in competition, going from struggling programs to ranked powerhouses in bigger classes at weekend tournaments.
“Mentally, maybe it’s a little tough,” Shade said. “We tell the girls that we play the really good teams so that weaker ones are easy. When we play like that in these games it gets a little bit frustrating.”
On Tuesday, the Braves will travel to Seymour for a Jackson County rivalry matchup.
Shade said she wants to see more aggression as the postseason approaches.
“We always work offensively,” Shade said. “We are always trying to speed up our offense and be aggressive. Of course that has to come from passes behind it, too. Aggressiveness has been our goal for the past couple weeks. We want to be a little more forceful.”