Versailles volleyball are District Champions after sweep over Madeira


By Drew Terhall

FAIRFIELD — The Versailles Lady Tigers volleyball team are District Champions for the 11th straight year. They swept Cincinnati Madeira 3-0 at Fairfield High School on Oct. 28 in the Southwest Division III District Finals.

Head coach Liz McNeilan said the feeling of winning a District Championship never gets old.

“Every year, it feels good. These girls put in the work each and every year. Well deserved on their part, very proud of them,” McNeilan said.

Versailles took control of the first set as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Junior Taylor Wagner and freshman Kiley May were leading the charge offensively early on. Both were able to push the ball past the Amazons defense for the kill.

The Lady Tigers took the first set, 25-13.

The second set started out a little closer. Versailles had a small lead and did have a chance to pull away as Madeira called a timeout down 13-8.

After each timeout the Amazons called, they were able to slow down the Lady Tigers. Versailles couldn’t pull away comfortably until the end.

Versailles won the second set, 25-16.

Then things got a little bit dicey in the third set. Madeira jumped out to a 5-2 before Versailles stormed back to take a 6-5 lead.

But soon after, the Amazons regained the lead and kept it for most of the set. McNeilan said the team had a great mindset coming in and it showed in the first set. The team was able to keep that mindset after making some mistakes and facing a deficit late.

“We talked a lot this week about mental toughness and just you’re going to face adversity. You’re going to make errors. I felt like we limited those errors early on. Not so much in the second and third sets, but they held it together when they needed to,” McNeilan said.

The serving helped get the Lady Tigers back on track. McNeilan said their serving has been one of their best tools so far this season.

With the serving, the offense was able to get some timely kills. Wagner, May and senior Tori Tyo were able to get one down when they needed it. McNeilan said she was proud of her hitters for stepping up in the right moments.

Versailles tied the game at 22-22 after they had burned both of their timeouts trying to slow down the Amazons. McNeilan said she doesn’t like calling those timeouts because she wants to see her team work through the momentum shifts together.

The team was able to respond after each timeout and built enough momentum to tie the set. From that point on, the Lady Tigers got the aces and kills needed to win 25-23 to complete the sweep and become District Champions.

As the fifth seed this season, Versailles will move on to regionals. They finished the regular season 11-11. McNeilan said the quality of opponents the team has faced, especially in the MAC, is more important in preparing this team for a tournament run.

“The record is great, but our strength of schedule prepares us for a fun run like this. I’m very proud of the girls for sticking with it mentally,” McNeilan said. “You could close it in. You see our record and I think a lot of people think that sometimes. But these girls are tough.”

The Lady Tigers will take on Cincinnati Summit Country Day, a two seed, on Nov. 2 at Kettering Fairmont at 7:30 p.m. in the Regional Semifinal. Last year, Versailles swept Summit Country Day in the Regional Finals to move on to the State Semifinals.

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

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