BROOKVILLE – The Versailles volleyball team advanced its way to the sectional title Saturday afternoon against the West Liberty-Salem Tigers in four games, 25-23, 25-16, 18-25, 25-16.
It was a battle of Tigers versus Tigers and orange and black versus orange and black. However, it was West Liberty-Salem’s Tigers who ended up black and blue with the constant onslaught of Coach Karla Frilling’s fiery group and V-nation being solidly behind them.
The Versailles squad clinched the sectional title on the Brookville Blue Devils’ home court. Now the Tigers will have to clinch a regional berth by blasting aside the No. 8 seed Reading’s Blue Devils 11 a.m. Saturday at Tippecanoe’s court.
“Right now we don’t care who we play,” Frilling said. “It was a pretty intense match, and we knew that coming in. We use people interchangeably that get the job done. We are fortunate enough to have the talent to do this. Our girls had a lull in the third set but regrouped to finish them off in the fourth set. The squad we have here have trust in each other through thick and thin. Discipline and hard work is what we instill in our players, and it proved again today that hard work does pay off.”
The first set was one for the ages as the game ebbed and flowed like the Tigris-Euphrates river system between the two Tigers volleyball squads of renown.
Versailles sprinted off to a 3-0 lead with Kami McEldowney serving well. The Versailles Tigers then were stifled by University of Dayton senior commit Jamie Peterson from West Liberty-Salem. She proceeded to slam, dig and propel her squad to a 7-3 lead.
Coach Frilling fired up her charges after a timeout, and Versailles ripped the net for six straight points with Lindsey Didier scorching the nylon with some strategically placed serves for a 9-7 advantage.
Peterson peppered the next point to close to 9-8, but the Tigers of Darke County pounced back with four of the next six markers to go up 13-10. West Liberty-Salem then took liberties at the net to tie it once again 15-all.
Three more ties took place at 18-18, 19-19 and 22-22 before Versailles garnered three of the next four points to win the game. Highlighting the end of the set was the finishing touch of sophomore Danielle Winner’s kill to close things out, 25-23.
The second set saw West Liberty-Salem drawing first blood at 1-0 before Versailles “Ramboed” up and proceeded to take five of the next six points for a 5-2 advantage. Peterson’s pulverizing shots kept her Champaign County squad in the mix by closing within one point at 12-11.
Versailles then kept West Liberty-Salem at bay before being tied up 14-all. Lauren Monnin then kept the score moving upward by serving well for a 19-15 hard fought advantage. Coach Filling kept her charges fired up by taking six of the next points to close it out 25-16 with Ellen Peters and Elizabeth Ording doing yeoman work.
The third set saw West Liberty players flying in all directions and taking a quick 7-2 lead, prompting a Versailles Tiger timeout. Tigerball then became evident again as Versailles closed the gap to 12-10 with two consecutive kills by Ording. West Liberty-Salem, however, continued the pressure despite the lights going out and putting Versailles in a darker spot than Ohio Caverns has at 17-12. Darke County’s darlings could get no closer than four points the rest of the way before falling, 25-18.
Fourth set refocus was the name of the game as West Liberty-Salem took to Peterson power at the net to go up 7-3. Versailles then regrouped to produce a mini rally to notch the scores twice at 10 and 11-all.
Monnin and Winner then elevated their net play with kills from the middle of the court to move the score to a 19-15 count. Versailles then vanquished their foes once and for all with Kristin Langston serving out the last six points to finish things up in Tigerball fashion, 25-16.
Langston was lively with 12 digs to go along with Ording, who had 11 kills, followed closely by Winner with 10. McEldowney produced four aces, Winner had two blocks, and setter Ellen Peters had 37 assists.