Versailles volleyball team vanquishes Northeastern in OHSAA tournament opener


BROOKVILLE – The Versailles volleyball squad brutalized the upstart Jets of Northeastern in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectionals on Thursday at Brookville High School.

The Tigers were terrific from start to finish and never were without the lead in dismantling the Clark County squad in three straight games, 25-6, 25-10 and 25-7. The win improved their overall record to 17-6 as the No. 2 seed advanced in workman-like fashion in just under 45 minutes.

The first set went like a jet as the Tigers scored four straight points followed by a 6-0 charge aided by a Danielle Winner kill and some strong serving by Kate Stammen for a 10-1 lead.

The Jets got to within an 11-3 count then Coach Kenzie Bruggeman’s team rattled off eight straight points highlighted by a Raegen Shaffer kill and a Mallory Marshal slam that slammed the door on any potential comeback for the Northeastern squad. Versailles finished things out by getting six of the last nine points for a 25-6 final count in the first game of the match witnessed by about 150 fans.

Second set adjustments saw the Jets flying a little bit higher as they got to 3-2 lead in the opening part of the second game against the Darke County squad. The Tigers then looked terrific as they ran their offense to perfection and rattled off six in a row, much to the Jets’ chagrin, for a 9-2 count. Cassie Peters had some timely hitting during this streak.

The Jets showed some mettle in their next surge and got to within 14-7 before the Tigers took some fuel out of the Jets’ fuselage and ran off five straight points with front line dominance for a 19-7 advantage. The Tigers again finished things out well by garnering six of the last nine points highlighted by the only ace by the Tigers to help close out the second set, 25-10.

In the third set Coach Bruggeman’s brigade volleyed well at the net to start off in fine fashion by going up 5-1 in front of the Tiger faithful. However, the Jets refueled for their best effort of the night and ripped off three straight points to almost tie the game at 5-4 and later on at 6-5.

The Tigers then terrorized the front court and the backcourt highlighted by several of Winner’s windmill spikes for a 7-0 rally to up the score to 13-5. Northeastern again cut the deficit again in half at 14-7before being cut down in size by the senior-dominated Tigers.

Versailles let there be no doubt about the final outcome of this set or match by scorching the nets for 10 straight points for a 25-7 finale. Winner and Shaffer helped shape the rally with great passing to teammates and a couple of placements of shots that kept the Jets grounded in this Division III lid-lifter.

“We were able to mount some good rallies during the match that helped close out each and every set,” Bruggeman said. “Northeastern gave it everything they had including us some long rallies, which was good practice for us.

“I was displeased with the amount of points that we gave away by serving the ball into the net and that we must improve upon into the next round. On the positive I would like to mention Danielle Winner’s net play and Kelsey Custenborder running the offense well.”

By Ted Landis, Jr.

For The Daily Advocate

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