NEW LEBANON – The Versailles volleyball team began its run in the Ohio High School Athletic Association playoffs with a sweep of Dayton Christian on Saturday, 25-7, 25-9, 25-12.
Even though her team easily handled the Warriors, Versailles coach Karla Frilling still saw room for improvement in the sectional tournament match.
“Maybe a little sloppy for my liking but I’m always a pretty tough critic,” she said. “Sometimes it’s tough in a match like that to keep our tempo, keep our pace. But we had some sloppy play that as the intensity and the skill level of each of the teams that we play improves game by game, we’re not going to get away with some of the stuff that we did today.”
The match started off close with Dayton Christian taking its first lead of the day at 6-5 in the opening set. But Versailles then went on a 20-2 run to close it out with the serving of Marisa Turpen and Lauren Monnin helping the Tigers cruise to the 25-7 victory.
After Dayton Christian scored the first point of the second set, Versailles scored the next four and took a lead it never surrendered the rest of the game. The Tigers again got strong serving, this time from Kami McEldowney who served nine consecutive points, to help lead them to a 25-9 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.
“The serving was intense,” Frilling said. “We have worked on just upping the aggressiveness of our serving, and that paid off today. However, on the other end, we didn’t look like we were expecting some of their aggressive serving on our side. But I was happy with our serving our today.”
Dayton Christian again took an early lead in the third set, but again Versailles overwhelmed the Warriors en route to a 25-12 victory to sweep the match.
While Versailles did advance to the OHSAA state final four each of the past two seasons, this year’s squad doesn’t have nearly as much experience as the past two years. The inexperience could have led to some nervousness and some sloppy play in Saturday’s tournament opener, Frilling said.
“We do have a lot of players out there that have never even seen a tournament floor before,” she said. “So hopefully they worked some of those jitters out today. Maybe that was some of it. Just you know being a little hesitant because they don’t want to make errors in the tournament game that could knock us out of our postseason. But hopefully they’re done with that, they’re over that and we move on. We survive, and we can play again on Monday.”
Versailles now advances to play Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Brookville High School in the second round of the Division III tournament.
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.