Forrest Murphy/WD Sports

Brock senior outside hitter Jessie Steele (6) and the Lady Eagles are headed to the Class 3A regional semifinals after defeating rival Peaster, 3-2 in the teams’ regional quarterfinals match Tuesday evening at Weatherford’s NGC.

The Brock Lady Eagles’ and Peaster Lady Greyhounds’ third and final matchup of the 2019 season came down to the wire, but in the end, the former proved the victor, outlasting the latter, 3-2 in the teams’ Class 3A regional quarterfinals match Tuesday at Weatherford’s Ninth Grade Activity Center. 

Brock Head Coach Mallory Daniel said her team knew going into Tuesday that Peaster would prove a tough out, something which made her own squad’s win even more memorable.

“I’m super proud of the girls,” Daniel said.

“Whenever we were down a set, I knew we were going to have to fight and claw our way back in it. Peaster made it difficult [Tuesday] night, they played well. It’s always exciting when Brock and Peaster play, anything can happen.”

Daniel credited the Lady Eagles’ collective calm throughout the five-set match as a major reason for the team’s success versus their rivals.

“I feel like mentally we stayed pretty calm the majority of the time,” Daniel said.

“We were very consistent emotionally, and I think in the end that paid off for us.”

Tuesday’s match did not feature many long runs by either team, as Brock and Peaster played each other close from start to finish.

Trailing 10-9 and later 15-14 in the first set, Brock scored six of the next eight points to claim the lead, 20-17, before pulling away, 25-22 to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Lady Greyhounds responded in kind with a win in set two, preserving leads of 5-2, 10-9, 15-12 and 20-19 before eventually taking the set, 25-23.

With the series tied at 1-1, Brock appeared to swing momentum back in its favor early in the third set, going up, 5-2.

The Lady Eagles eventually pushed their advantage to 15-11 and later 20-16, before the Lady Greyhounds rallied, scoring nine of the next 10 points for a 25-21, come-from-behind victory to pull ahead in the series, 2-1.

Once more, Brock roared back with another strong start, this time in set four for a 10-4 lead.

Quickly falling behind, Peaster returned the favor with an 11-4 run to pull ahead, 15-14.

Despite this, the Lady Greyhounds struggled to close out the match, as the Lady Eagles clawed their way back in front, 20-19.

Subsequent back-to-back points by Brock pushed the team’s lead to 22-19, before Peaster scored four of the next seven points to tie the game at 23.

The Lady Greyhounds were unable to close out the set however, as the Lady Eagles scored another two-straight points to even the series with a 25-23 win.

Peaster Head Coach Autumn Threet said that fourth set proved reminiscent of the teams’ previous District 7-3A bout earlier this fall, when Peaster had the series lead in hand but struggled to close out the match.

“We had our opportunity in game four,” Threet said.

“I thought we made the same mistake we did when we were at Brock, where we had all the momentum, and game four was so important. I think that was the key. We just gave Brock too many opportunities in game four. I had some kids that had more errors than they normally have, and a lot of that is nerves, but I also had a lot of kids step up and do some great things.”

Peaster did manage a 5-3 lead to kick off the fifth and final set, but Brock’s momentum from the previous game helped spark 7-3 run to take the lead 10-8, before ultimately closing out the match, 15-13.

While the Lady Greyhounds’ season came to a close with the loss, Threet said this year’s team will be one that holds a place in her heart forever.

“I told the kids, I’ve coached in the biggest match in the state of Texas, and those kids who played in that match will always be special to me because they were the group I started with. 

“But  I think the growth and success that this group had, I just feel even more satisfied because I think sometimes when you have to work harder and see what you’re made of, I feel like that was one of those years and I felt like between my coaching staff and the girls, we just put it together and got better throughout the year. 

“I’ll look back on this as one of the years I’m gonna be the most proud of.”

Brock advances and plays the Bushland Lady Falcons in a Class 3A regional semifinals match at 8 p.m. Friday at Lubbock Cooper High School. 

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