Through the ups and downs and the twists and turns, the Brownstown Central volleyball team found a way to prevail.
After defeating Salem 25-7, 25-5, 25-7 on Saturday afternoon in the Class 3A Sectional 30 semifinals, the No. 4 Braves met Silver Creek for the fourth time of the season. This time, though, the No. 12 Dragons weren’t going to go down without a fight.
The Braves took the first set 25-16, but the Dragons got hot behind strong serving and net play and tied the match with a 25-21 win. The final two sets were tense, but Brownstown managed to win 25-21, 25-21 and claim its second-straight Sectional 30 title.
“It’s amazing. It says a lot about how we can come together and get back in the groove of things and be able to put down the ball,” Braves senior Allie Warren said. “We just wanted to make sure we didn’t let anything drop. We didn’t want to let up at all. A big thing for us is serving, and once we miss a serve, then that kind of lets down our whole team. So we kept wanting to try to keep our serves in.”
The first set was business as usual for the Braves. Trinity Booher served her team to a 16-7 lead, and the lead bubbled to 22-11 on a Silver Creek passing error.
The second set was close until Dragons senior Haley Garr jump-served seven-straight times, delivering two aces, and her teammates were strong at the net in pushing the lead to 20-14. The Braves inched back late, with Nicole Thomas’ ace making it 24-21, but Silver Creek put the ball down on the back line to even the match.
The third set was tied three times early before Courtney Conrad recorded back-to-back kills and Warren served an ace for a 7-4 advantage. Brownstown later built its lead to five, but Silver Creek scored four-straight points to pull within 18-17. The Dragons, though, made some costly errors down the stretch, and the Braves moved on top 2-1.
“One big thing was just momentum switch,” Braves coach Jennifer Shade of what allowed the Dragons to win the second set. “They got the momentum, and we just made a lot of errors in that ballgame. So we had to find a way to get the momentum back on our side, and then I felt like we did. It was a battle back-and-forth, and both teams played one of their better games, but we just forced each other to make errors.”
Neither team led by more than three for a good part of the fourth set. Garr served the Dragons to a 16-13 lead to force a Brave timeout. Brownstown rallied to tie the match at 17 and 18 before the referees disagreed on whether a Brave attack was in bounds.
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