VERSAILLES – Versailles played well against the No. 3 ranked team in Division IV on Saturday but had slumps that it couldn’t overcome in a 25-21, 25-16, 27-25 loss to Monroeville.
Monroeville came into Versailles sporting a 16-1 record with its only loss coming to Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, who is ranked No. 2 in Division III in the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state rankings. Against the stiff competition, Versailles put up a strong fight.
“I am disappointed in some of our rotations,” Versailles volleyball coach Karla Frilling said. “I think there were just certain rotations we got into where we just got into a slump. And I just think we could have just played better this late in the season. I agree we gave them a heck of a game. They’re a great team. You’re right on all those things. But I’m a coach. My bar is set pretty high, especially this late in the season.”
The first set was back and forth with 13 ties by the time the score reached 16-16. But from there Versailles hit one of its slumps and Monroeville scored the next three points to go up 19-16, prompting Versailles to use a timeout.
The Lady Tigers couldn’t recover out of the break and the Eagles scored the next three points to go up 22-16. Versailles then bounced back and cut the deficit to two points at 22-20 but lost the game 25-21.
The second game started off just like the first with eight ties early on, including as late as 10-10. But Versailles hit another slump and saw a 10-9 lead become a 15-11 deficit.
The Tigers closed to within two points at 16-14 before Monroeville got hot and went on a 9-2 run to close out the 25-16 victory and go up two games to none.
With Monroeville needing just one more win to close out the match, Versailles came out for the third set with more energy.
“They said before they went into the third game, they said, ‘Let’s push this thing into five.’ That was their goal,” Frilling said. “That’s what they had to do if they wanted to win out the match ultimately. I felt the energy, and you could see the energy out there. It put us in a good place, but then we rotated to a position where we just couldn’t get past that slump again.”
Just like the first two sets the third began with Versailles and Monroeville battling back and forth with 10 ties by the time the score reached 12-12.
But this time it was Versailles who started to take control as the Tigers went up 17-12 and had the Eagles on their heels. Monroeville wouldn’t back down, though, and fought back to tie the game at 19-19.
With ties at 19-19, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24 and 25-25, neither squad was able to pull away late in the third set. Versailles had game point opportunities at 24-23 and 25-24 but couldn’t get the one point it needed. In the end Monroeville scored the final three points of the set to win 27-25 and sweep Versailles in the Tigers’ home finale.
“The more aggressive we are, especially at that net, the better we play,” Frilling said. “It was about being aggressive through some of those rotations. We just kind of backed off too much.”
Danielle Winner led Versailles with 12 kills in the match. Elizabeth Ording had six kills while Lauren Monnin and Taylor Tyo both had five. Kami McEldowney, Monnin and Ellen Peters each had an ace.
Versailles will close out the regular season with Midwest Athletic Conference games at St. Henry – the No. 1 ranked team in Division III – on Tuesday and at Delphos St. John’s on Thursday.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.