KETTERING – The Versailles Lady Tigers dropped a Saturday afternoon OHSAA D-III regional tournament match to the NO. 1 seed Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy 3-1, a private school represented by more than 40 school districts across the region.
“Every game you’re going to have a winner and a loser,” said Versailles coach Kenzie Bruggeman. “You take that risk when you put on the uniform when you step out in an environment like this. Unfortunately we were on the losing side of it.”
The Lady Tigers finish the season playing in the Elite 8 following back-to-back state championship seasons.
The opening set saw nine ties with the last coming at 14-14 before Versailles would take a 19-17 advantage. The Lady Tigers scored six unanswered points to earn a first set 25-17 win and take a 1-0 lead.
“Our communication piece came and that’s what makes or breaks us,” Bruggeman noted. “We were executing, our defense was a lot better and serve receive was a lot better. When we are in system and we can make it easy on Kiersten (Bomholt) we are able to be calmer, we are able to put the balls away and each game from then on it got less and less.”
Lindsey Winner came into the day needing 8-kills to reach 1,000-kills for the Lady Tigers volleyball program, a milestone the 6’1″ senior would reach in the opening set.
“For her to get that as a middle and to where she came from as a freshman, it’s just unbelievable,” Bruggeman said. “I’m so excited to be able to watch her play at UD (University of Dayton). She is going to make leaps and bounds.”
Versailles jumped out to 3-0 and 6-3 second set leads only to have the Lady Eagles go on a 6-0 run to grab a 9-6 advantage. CHCA made it a 4-point advantage at 13-9 bringing a timeout from the Versailles bench.
Trailing 15-12, Versailles battle back to cut it to a 1-point Cincinnati lead with the Lady Eagles calling for a timeout.
CHCA pushed its lead to six at 22-16 before Versailles would go on a 7-0 run with freshman Kirsten Bomholt at the serving line to take a 23-22 lead.
With the second set just 2-points from a possible winner, the teams went toe-to-toe with what would prove to be 11-ties starting at 23-23 and the last coming at 33-33 before the Lady Eagles would take the set 35-33 and even the match a set apiece.
“That was an unreal game and I think that was a really big tell-all,” Bruggeman stated. “Everybody gave a lot that game and if we would have come off of that with a win I think the third set would have looked a lot different – but we didn’t. Unfortunately that’s part of the game.”
Set No. 3 had 9-ties with the last coming at 12-12 before the girls from Cincinnati would take a 2-1 lead with a 25-20 win.
“It was just so many miss-executions again, a lot of missed serves,” Bruggeman said of set three. “We were passing on the 10-12 foot line. I wish our defense would have been a little bit better and then I think we would have seen a different result.”
The fourth set was no kinder to Versailles as the Lady Eagles bolted out to a 10-0 advantage bringing a second Versailles timeout. Unable to find their stride, the Lady Tigers were quickly looking at a 16-2 deficit. From there, Versailles outscored the Lady Eagles 11-9 only to come up short and fall out of tournament play with a 25-13 fourth set loss.
“Our serve receive was nowhere to be found and that’s just hats off to CHCA,” said Bruggeman. “If you don’t have serve receive we can’t get it to our big guns.”
“Just a lot of uncharacteristic errors throughout the game from a lot people and when you have that against a team like CHCA – they wanted it, it was plain as day, they were going to attack,” Bruggeman stated. “They took every opportunity and I felt like we were on the reactive side the whole time.”
Playing their final volleyball game for the Versailles Lady Tigers included seniors: Caitlin McEldowney, Avery McEldowney, Rebecca Knapke, Katelyn Marshal, MaKenzie Knore, Lindsey Winner, Brooke Stonebraker and Raegen Shaffer.
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330