By Tony Adams
There’s a saying generally associated in basketball: you live by three, you die by the three.
In Belton Lady Tigers’ Volleyball, it is jersey #3. That three is worn by Brieanne Brown.
Brown’s 17 kills and 24 digs helped power the Lady Tigers’ over China Spring 25-16, 22-25, 25-20 and 25-22 Tuesday night on the road to move their record up to 10-6 on the season.
The Lady Tigers fell behind early in the first set 7-2, but rallied to take a 12-10 lead to force a China Spring timeout. The Lady Cougars were not able to stem the Big Red wave and Belton went on to take the initial set.
The second set started off similar to the first set. This time, the Lady Tigers were down 10-1 before they scrapped back to take a 15-14 lead. The set seesawed back and forth with Belton taking a 21-20 lead on successive Brown kills. China Spring went on went on a 5-2 run to close out the set and tie the match at 1-1.
In the third set, the Lady Cougars jetted out to a 7-5 lead. Belton recovered with three consecutive kills by Brown, Kinsey Williams and Bailey Borger to take an 8-7 lead. The Lady Tigers increased the lead to seven points and held on to win the third set by five and go up 2-1 in sets.
The final set started again with China Spring jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Belton gradually ate away at the deficit with key kills by Brown, McKinzee Robinson and Monica Gonzalez and caught the Lady Cougars to tie the game at 15-15. A key factor in China Spring staying close was their play with volleys bouncing off of the ceiling I-beams, with the low ceilings in the gymnasium. Belton won five consecutive points to go up 20-15 and force the Lady Cougars into a timeout to quell the Lady Tigers’ momentum. China Spring won the next three points in a row, forcing Belton coach Stacy Meyers to call a timeout to get her team to refocus. The Lady Tigers hung on with consecutive kills by Brown and Belton closed out China Spring with a 6-3 run and won the match 3-1.
“I had so many people come up to me after the game and comment how disciplined our team is,” said Meyers. “I was so proud of our kids. China Spring’s a tough team. They kept fighting
The game was a homecoming for Stacy Meyers, who coached at China Spring for several years and was part of a state championship as the assistant coach for Teresa Durham’s China Spring basketball team in 2005-2006. Her children graduated from the school and she had many friends in attendance Tuesday night.
“This was an important win, especially here at China Spring,” said Meyers. “This is a tough place to play. It was important for Machaela (Moore), being from here as well and she got match point. It was a big night for her and a big night for all the girls. The girls knew what this game meant to me and they reached down a little deeper for this one.”
Along with Brown’s 17 kills, York contributed 10 kills and Moore chipped in eight. For the second match in a row, Williams had 56 digs, but this time in four sets and has 163 in the past four games. Moore had 17 digs and Danae Allison had 11.
The Belton Lady Tigers Volleyball team will hit the road today and Saturday for a two-day tournament at the Hays Rebel Bash. The annual tournament features a Day One pool of Elkins (Missouri City) and Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin). Following the tournament, the final tune up prior to district play will be on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Tiger Gym against Marble Falls.
In sub varsity action, Belton’s junior varsity battled back from a 25-20 opening set loss to win the remaining two sets 25-19 and 25-16.
“The girls really struggled in the first set, but battled back and showed a lot fight to win,” said Belton junior varsity volleyball coach Jordan Petter. “They keep improving.”
Belton’s freshman team led in both sets but fell in straight sets 25-21 and 25-22.
The junior varsity and freshman will return to action Tuesday night against Marble Falls at Tiger Gym at 5 p.m.