The Lady Indians pushed the mighty Lady Bruins to the brink and forced just the fourth five-set match for Brentwood in six years, but D-B ultimately fell 22-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-20 and 15-11.
D-B certainly learned a lot in the loss and took just the 10th and 11th sets from Brentwood (53-3) in an impressive 24-match state tournament winning streak.
“We saw a lot of heart out there,” D-B coach Haley Price said. “We saw that they weren’t invincible, and we saw that we could not only take sets off of them, but figure out how to run effective offense.
“At the end of the day, they just have a very deep bench. They have so many players that can execute from so many positions, and they can run so many plays.”
The offense had some gaudy numbers for the Tribe as Hannah Watson notched 24 kills while Staley Humphries had 17. Sithney Wolfe kicked in nine while Meg Maynor had three. Maynor also had four blocks.
The Tribe played relentless on defense, with libero Zoie Larkins, Rylee Waye and Humphries getting to just about every free ball and returning it back over the net.
Larkins had 31 digs, Humphries had 30 and Waye contributed 20. Carly Shell and Sarah Moore pitched in nicely on defense with 15 digs each.
Waye finished with an eye-popping 52 assists, averaging 10.4 per set with no errors on the day. It was her first 50-assist game of the year.
D-B had the Lady Bruins on the ropes in both the fourth and fifth sets but were unable to shut the door.
Even though the Tribe lost, they were still alive with an opportunity to get back in Thursday’s championship game when they played Houston.
HOUSTON 3, DOBYNS-BENNETT 1
The season came to an end on Wednesday night for the Lady Indians after falling to Houston in four sets, 19-25, 25-16, 25-10 and 27-25.
Dobyns-Bennett (24-10) will finish in the same position as last year, being eliminated in the losers bracket final.
The Lady Mustangs — who lost earlier in the tournament to the Lady Indians — will move on to Thursday’s final against Brentwood.
D-B fought all the way to the end and was down from nearly the beginning of the fourth set.
Houston (37-13) will get its shot at the champs.
“Houston was going to make us earn it,” Price said. “They had a chip on their shoulder from the last time that they played us, and they’re a great team. They knew that they could win that match and maybe got our eyes fixed too far ahead.
“Watching this group of seniors come back has been amazing this year. They had so much pressure put on them to beat last year, and I think they just let it get to them. I’m sad to see them leave, and I have truly been blessed to have the opportunity to coach them this year. I’m proud of them.”
Watson had 12 kills while Humphries had 14 and Wolfe threw in seven.
On the defensive side, Humphries had 23 digs while Larkins played superb at libero, finishing with 28 digs. Waye had 22 digs and 35 assists to finish off her career.
The Lady Indians lose nine seniors off the squad this year, including big offensive threats like Humprhies, Watson and Waye.