Western Brown made the trip north to Blanchester High School for their opening round match against Taylor High School earlier this month and, early on, it appeared the Lady Broncos would leave with a sectional victory.
The squad jumped out to an early lead against the Lady Jackets in the first set, and held a 19-12 margin at one point as well. That’s when Taylor began to climb back into the game. The Lady Jackets cut the Lady Bronco lead down to 20-18, prompting head coach Carla Fite to call timeout.
After the timeout, Western Brown still could not put away the Lady Jackets. They finished their rally, tying the game at 21 and would go on to win the first set 25-22, ending on a 13-3 run to take the victory.
Fite said her team simply made too many mistakes, which allowed Taylor to get back in the game.
“We made too many unforced errors,” Fite said. “We just backed down and lost control of the ball. They got a run and got away with it.”
The second set was all Western Brown. They dominated, jumping out to a 12-5 lead before winning the set 25-11.
The third set was closer, but the end result was the same. Western Brown jumped out to an 8-2 lead before Taylor cut the lead to just one point at 13-12. The Broncos ended the set on a 12-7 run, taking the victory 25-19 and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set number four was one the Lady Broncos would like to forget. Taylor led 5-4 early and kept building on their advantage, growing the lead to 18-12 and eventually winning the set 25-14 to force a fifth and final set.
It did not start well for Western Brown. The Lady Broncos fell behind 11-4 quickly before they slowly began to rally. Mary Sizer caught fire from the service line for Western Brown, who turned that seven-point deficit into just a one point margin at 12-11. However, Taylor would score the next three points to win the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.
Fite had some tough words for her team’s effort in the fifth set.
“We stopped playing as a team in the very beginning,” Fite said. “They decided to start working hard too late. When you only go to 15 in the fifth set, you can’t wait until they have 11 to start playing. That’s kind of been our problem all season, constantly playing as a team from point one to point 25. When you don’t play as a team, this is what happens.”
Losses are tough regardless, but to lose a tournament game in five sets that very easily could have been won in three makes the sting all that much worse. Fite said the only thing the team can do now is work hard for next season.
“It’s always tough,” Fite said. “In reality, that group has a lot of talent. When you have a team that has a lot of talent, it’s hard. Now we just have to move forward to next year and keep working hard. That’s all you can do.”