VERSAILLES – The Versailles volleyball team was up to the challenge Tuesday evening as the Tigers faced off against Bishop Fenwick High School.
The Lady Falcons, who were a semifinalist in the 2015 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state volleyball tournament, would be a good test at this point of the season. The Lady Tigers won the match in four games, 25-23, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21.
Game one set the tone for the evening. It was a closely contested struggle that saw 10 ties and neither team led by more than three points during play. Versailles won the game, but Coach Kenzie Bruggeman saw room for improvement.
“The first game we had at least 11 errors,” she said. “Way too many errors against a consistent team like that.”
In game two Fenwick came out with fire and determination, scoring the first three points and building a 12-5 advantage. Five-, six- and seven-point deficits are nothing new to the Lady Tigers, but now they are learning to play through them.
“Perseverance … we have to be mentally tough … let the past go, focus on what we need to get to, break down into points of five and focus on us,” Bruggeman said.
Versailles would do just that. The Tigers finished the game on a 20-9 run to give them the 25-21 victory with the final seven points coming off the serve of junior co-captain Kami McEldowney. The final point punctuated by a kill by junior co-captain Danielle Winner.
“Today we kept our self-confidence …,” Coach Bruggeman said. “If we start to get down you can’t go into individual shells and think we’re not a good team anymore. We are more than capable of coming back. They have to be mentally tough enough to just step up enough and realize we have a little work to do, but if they come together they can easily do it.”
Game three saw the Lady Falcons once again build a six-point lead, but this time they were able to maintain it to take the game 25-19.
The final game of the night started in familiar style with Fenwick breaking out on top early at 10-6. The Falcons led by a 17-13 score until Versailles junior Ellen Peters began to serve. When Peters’ mini run was finished she had helped to give the Lady Tigers a 19-17 advantage. After being tied at 20, Versailles would score five of the final six points to secure the win.
“Our setters were really attentive to who was getting kills and what was working, mixing it up,” Bruggeman said. “That’s one of our greatest assets.”