By BRAD KEITH
(October 27, 2015) — Stephenville (25-18, 8-0) had to overcome a first set loss, but in the end, and even without one of its senior leaders, the Honeybees delivered.
Just as they have throughout their perfect run through 6-4A, which saw them go 24-3 in sets played and avoid ever needing a fifth set.
They came close on the road Tuesday, but Emily Brandon scored the winning block to cap off a 14-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-22 win over Brownwood.
Senior outside hitter Mikayla Hobbs doubled up with 10 kills and 16 digs to lead the way in the absence of classmate Kaleigh Conger, who hits opposite Hobbs and plays the entire rotation.
Senior middle Kourtney Seaton, a Northwestern State (La.) commit, had 14 kills, four digs and two blocks for Stephenville. Seaton and Hobbs weren’t the only Honeybees to step up in Conger’s absence, despite an ugly first set when Brownwood jumped ahead 19-8 and Stephenville never had a chance.
The Honeybees took over from there, dominating the second, edging into the lead in the third and building a late five-point lead before holding on in the fourth.
Brandon and Kerstin Fredrickson each made six kills and Nicona Stilwell had five along with four digs and a block. Savannah Alford also stepped up her performance, racking up 15 digs while Hailey Martin added 14. Chelsea Gillespie made 26 assists and Taylor Garber had 14 along with two aces.
Stephenville faces Wichita Falls Hirschi in the opening round of the Region I-4A playoffs. The matchup is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at Jacksboro High School.