Battling for fourth place in District 5-5A, Braswell and Denton were the first of three teams — the other being Denison — to play in a mini tournament to determine who would fill the district's fourth and final playoff spot.
Denton came out strong with a 25-21, 25-16, 25-22 sweep of Braswell to extend its season and to end the Lady Bengals' on Thursday night at Guyer.
The Lady Broncos have a quick turnaround, as they square off against Denison at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Aubrey. The victor will represent 5-5A in the bi-district round against Aledo.
"After we lost to Ryan the way we did, I think it affected us a little heading into this match," Braswell coach Allison Irvin said. "It's tough on me and our program knowing that we have a playoff-caliber team but we just couldn't pull out some of the five-set matches we had earlier this season and these last two matches to give us a shot at playoffs.
"Overall we finished with a winning record with only two seniors."
In the first set, the teams went back-and-forth, trading leads until the Lady Broncos pulled away late.
In the second set, Denton made some adjustments hitting over Braswell's attempted blocks and in the back corners of the floor.
"We started a little too late, and our chemistry wasn't there in the second set," Irvin said. "When you play a great team like Denton, every mistake you make counts toward you. I know it sounds ridiculous, but volleyball is one of the few sports where every mistake you make gives the opposing team points."
The third set was much like the first, and Braswell (22-17) had a lead but relinquished it late to give the Lady Broncos the sweep.
Braswell is losing only two players to graduation, and the young squad has a taste of what it feels like to play in a win-or-go-home match.
"This is a night-and-day difference from where we were last year," Irvin said. "Our nondistrict schedule was much tougher than last year. We were competing and placing in tournaments.
"I'm super proud of how far we have come. Half of the state of Texas is at home and not able to compete in games like this, and we're excited about the direction we're heading."