Versailles Volleyball vs Lake Catholic preview


VERSAILLES — The Versailles volleyball team is two games away from being State champions. The last time the Lady Tigers made it to the State Semifinals was in 2018, where they won it all.

Versailles defeated Independence that year in the championship game. Coincidentally, Independence lost to the team Versailles will be playing on Nov. 10, Lake Catholic.

In the Ohio Coaches poll, Lake Catholic spent most of the season being voted as the number one team in Division III. Versailles will have their hands full with a very talented team.

The Lady Cougars are 25-2 on the season with an 8-1 conference record in the Crown conference. Like Versailles, they have yet to lose a set in the playoffs.

The Lady Tigers could meet their match offensively. The Lady Cougar average 14.1 kills per set. The Lady Tigers are averaging 12.6 kills per set.

Lake Catholic has two players with over 200 kills on the season. Junior Katie Sowko leads her team with 325 kills while sophomore Natalya Bergant is second with 226 kills.

There is some more efficiency with Lake Catholic. Four players average 2 or more kills a set. Sowko averages 4.1 kills per set and Bergant averages 2.8 kills per set.

For Versailles, the defense will have to react fast and get their hands on the Lady Cougars’ attacks. From the stats, Lake Catholic has two dangerous hitters that are supported by some capable hitters.

On the Versailles side, they have shown to have different players step up at different times when they needed to the most. Senior Kirsten Bomholt does lead the way with 437 kills this season. Senior Hailey Porter is second with 161 followed by junior Tori Tyo with 153.

Bomholt averages 5 kills per set. Porter is at 1.9 and Tyo is at 1.8 in the same statistic. It may look like Lake Catholic has a better supporting cast offensively, but Porter and Tyo can showcase their offensive skills if the defense keys off on Bomholt.

When all three are on the court at the same time, Versailles could have the advantage there. Porter and Tyo on the outsides puts stress on a defense. The ball could go to either one of them. One false step or a slow read can lead to a Versailles point. Not to mention, Versailles can get some offensive production from their middle blockers as well.

Bomholt would be playing the back line. During the season, she has shown that she can rack up kills from back there when needed. It may be a harder kill to get, but she can be right in the middle and have the whole court to see. The areas she can attack are greater back there and could be an advantage for them.

With two offenses like these going at it, the setters will have to try and out-maneuver each other. Lake Catholic junior setter Hannah Pattie has 947 assists on the season and averages 11.7 assists per set. For Versailles, senior Brynn Briscoe has 849 assists this season and averages 9.8 assists per set.

The setter will dictate the tempo and how the offense will attack. They can control where the defense goes, leaving some spots open for a quick deception move to get a kill for themselves.

One area Versailles is more dominant in is the serving game. As a team, they have 256 serving aces compared to Lake Catholic’s 211 aces on the season.

The Lady Tigers have been aggressive all season and playoffs from the serving line. While it does result in more service errors, they normally only encounter a lot of those at the start of a game. Once they get a few serves underneath their belts, they clean up the errors.

The best way to get an offense out of sorts is to get Lake Catholic out of system. Getting the defense to move around should allow the Versailles offense to get easy balls back and strike in more open spaces. A few aces during each set would be an added bonus from the serving game.

This does have a makings of a five set match. Both teams have a powerful offense where more than one player can step up at any moment. Versailles serving could make up if the Lake Catholic offense gains an edge during the match.

The defenses will do all they can to give their offense a shot at getting a clean attack off. Players will be flying around the court all day.

Versailles will take on Lake Catholic at the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University on Nov. 10. The match is set for a 4 p.m. start. The winner of this match will take on the winner of Coldwater and Meadowbrook for a State title.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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