By Drew Terhall
BROOKVILLE — It was a battle between two Darke County schools in the Southwest Division III Sectional Volleyball Tournament on Oct. 25 at Brookville High School. Versailles High School earned a sweep over Tri-Village High School to move on to the District Finals.
Versailles head coach Liz McNeilan said it wasn’t a pretty game for her team, but it’s expected that teams will come out with their best during this time of year.
“Tournament time brings the best out of everybody. That’s from the NCAA to here, there’s nothing to lose. The first 22 games prepare,” McNeilan said. “I told them, ‘Was it a little ugly for us on our side and us taking care of the ball? Absolutely.’ But to find a way to win speaks volumes about the team.”
The first two sets saw Versailles playing some catch up at the beginning. Tri-Village had a slight advantage on the scoreboard to start out the first two sets.
Tri-Village head coach Chris Brewer said the start his team had shocked him a bit. The Lady Patriots have started out the gate slow in most of their games.
“That has been our Achilles heel a lot this year. I didn’t expect us to start that quick against Versailles tonight. I’m happy we did,” Brewer said.
In the first two sets, Versailles started to get comfortable with their offense and serving. At times, they were able to beat the Lady Patriots to the open spots and started to go on a run. Tri-Village had some problems with their serve receive and Versailles took advantage.
The Lady Tigers even found ways to make plays when their defense and serve receive was a bit off. Brewer said his team had a plan with the way they were serving. They were able to get Versailles out of system at times, but couldn’t keep them out of system enough to get the win.
“There were times in the first and second game where I thought we had them on the ropes a little bit. A couple things didn’t go our way or maybe a serving mistake kind of changed momentum a little bit,” Brewer said.
Versailles took the first set, 25-16, and the second set, 25-19.
The third set was when Versailles showed they were tired of a slow start. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead and a 12-5 lead that caused Tri-Village to burn through both of their timeouts. Brewer said he didn’t want to call them that early, but had to before letting the game get out of hand.
The Lady Tigers had was serving well and everything seemed to go Versailles way. McNeilan said the team found ways to get into system and push forward.
“Our goal was even on the valleys, you got to play well and figure out how to get something in system. The girls did that by the third set, I was very proud of them,” McNeilan said.
Tri-Village did make a small run after their second timeout. Their serving plan was working and the offense got a few points. Ultimately, Versailles responded and closed out the set 25-13.
The Lady Patriots end their 2022 season 15-10 with an 8-3 conference record. They will lose seniors: Halle Bell, Shelby Mintekenbaugh, Morgan Hunt, KayLee Brewer and libero Nevaeh Reigelsperger. Brewer said his seniors gave it their all in what was their last game in a Tri-Village uniform. They were all flying around the court and making plays for the team.
Versailles will move on to play against the three seed in East Clinton High School on Oct. 29 at Fairfield High School. Winner will move on to the Regional Semifinal.