With seven returning starters coming back from last year’s 12-9 team, Brownwood is brimming with optimism entering this year’s volleyball season.
“This year’s team will be more seasoned and well-disciplined with a lot more confidence,” Lady Lions coach Allison Smith emphasized.
Brownwood, which finished runner-up to Stephenville in District 6-4A with a 5-3 mark a year ago, won a 3-2 thriller over Vernon in its bi-district playoff game before falling in three straight games to eventual state champion Decatur in the area round.
Leading the Brownwood offense is senior outside hitter Olivia Fowler, who had a team-high 129 kills to go along with 73 digs and 19 aces last season. Fowler was a first-team all-District 6-4A selection.
Senior rightside hitter/defensive specialist Gracie Boswell paced the Lady Lions with 209 digs, and senior setter/rightside hitter Tessa Goodwin topped the stats with a team-high 253 assists in 2020. Goodwin recorded 79 digs, 35 kills and 16 aces, too.
Also returning for Brownwood is senior middle blocker Jaylen Savage (15 blocks and 35 kills). Goodwin and Savage were named second team all-district in 2020.
The senior-laden team will be joined by junior libero Kassidy Wooten, who was honorable mention all-district a year ago, and 6-0 sophomore middle blocker/rightside hitter Jordan Northcutt.
Smith, who is beginning her third season as Brownwood’s head coach, called leadership and accountability her team’s biggest strength, noting a key to the Lady Lions’ season is “finding that ‘drive’ and keeping the confidence of what we are capable of.”