Lady Broncos slide past Batavia

The Western Brown Lady Broncos volleyball team entered their final three games with a simple, yet difficult task ahead of them.

The team sat in a four-way tie for first place with New Richmond, Amelia and Batavia. Conveniently enough, those three schools just happened to be the final three games on the Broncos’ schedule.

If the Lady Broncos managed to win all three games, they would win the division title. That task began last week against the Batavia Lady Bulldogs.

The first set was close throughout, but the Lady Bulldogs came away victorious 25-23. The Lady Broncos rolled through the second set, winning 25-14 and had little more trouble in the third, taking a 25-17 victory.

Batavia took a 17-10 lead in the fourth set, but the Lady Broncos stormed back to cut the lead to 21-18. Western Brown would get no closer, however, as the Lady Bulldogs held on to win the fourth set 25-21 and tie the game at two sets each.

The fifth and deciding set started out close, with both teams splitting the first 10 points evenly. The Lady Broncos would pull away late, however, and end the match on a 10-6 run to win the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.

Head coach Carla Fite said the team’s victory was an important one.

“It’s crucial, the last time we had Batavia we went into five,” Fite said. “We came out strong and determined. The fourth set they came out a bit slow but they wanted it.”

Fite also noted there was one thing her team did well at times that ultimately earned them the victory.

“Volleyball is a fast-paced game, you can get a run and they can quickly get a run too,” Fite said. “You’ve got to keep your momentum, every time they get a point you have to get one back too.”

There was still room for the Lady Broncos to improve, however. Fite said the team struggled at times with ball control.

“Keep the ball under control,” Fite said. “We were playing static, we weren’t talking or moving. We needed to get back to the fundamentals. Once we got back to those we were fine.”

The Lady Broncos returned to the court Tuesday night at home against the New Richmond Lions and dropped a close 3-0 decision (25-23, 25-19, 25-20). The team is scheduled to face Taylor High School in the first round of sectional tournament play Saturday, October 17 at Blanchester High School.

Senior MacKenzie Brooks serves the ball for the Broncos in the fourth set of the team’s 3-2 win over Batavia last week. MacKenzie Brooks serves the ball for the Broncos in the fourth set of the team’s 3-2 win over Batavia last week.

By Garth Shanklin

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin.