VERSAILLES – The Versailles Lady Tigers and the Tri-Village Lady Patriots brought two of the county’s best volleyball teams together for a showdown with Versailles eking out a 3-2 Monday night win.
“That was a good one for the old ticker,” Versailles coach Kenzie Bruggeman said immediately following the match. “Everybody is awake on Monday now.”
“We came out and fought hard,” said Tri-Village coach Chris Brewer. “We didn’t have two girls stand out – it was a team effort.”
Versailles jumped out to an early 9-2 lead over the visiting Lady Patriots in what looked like would be an easy night for the Lady Tigers only to have Tri-Village battle back to take a 21-18 point lead.
The Lady Tigers scored six unanswered points to lead 24-21 on their way to a 25-23 first game win.
Set No. 2 saw extra time needed to complete the 26-24 game, a game that had 20 ties, 8 lead changes with neither team holding more than a 2 point lead and the Lady Patriots coming out on top to even the match a one game apiece.
The third set of the night had the game opening with 10 ties, the last coming at 18-18 before Tri-Village used a 7-2 scoring run to close out play with a 25-20 win and take a 2-1 match lead.
A spirited Versailles break between game three and four had Coach Bruggeman noticeably missing from the huddle paying dividends for the Lady Tigers as the team jumped out to a 22-7 lead on their way to a 25-9 win sending the match to a fifth and final set.
“Sometimes especially during the season you really want the girls to realize how much power they have,” shared Coach Bruggeman. “I could have called a timeout and I could have gave another rah-rah, another like let’s go, fire up, show me your energy but they have to learn and realize that they can do it themselves.”
“It shouldn’t always be an external supply source for them,” Bruggeman continued. “That energy and that fight has to come from within so sometimes when it’s in those situations it is just for them to sit and reflect and realize what type of effort am I putting forward and how can I change that, or how can I be better and we can fix this just within our own teammates.”
Versailles grabbed an early 4-1 advantage bringing a timeout from the Tri-Village bench. The Lady Tigers extended their lead to 6-1 before the Lady Patriots started working their way back to knot the score at 7-7 where the game would stay close the remainder of the game.
Trailing 13-10, Tri-Village took advantage of a timeout to get back to even at 13-13, 14-14 and 15-15 before the Lady Tigers scored the final 2 points to win 17-15 in extra time and win the non-conference match 3-2.
“It was fun – we both had athletes on either side and we kind of passed the torch back and forth with errors,” said Coach Bruggeman. “We were making a ton in the first couple of games then they started making quite a few so just a matter of executing but still at the end of the day you have to find a way to win and our girls were put in pretty harsh and tough circumstances, so I am just proud that they were able to come together and still find a way to get that ‘W’.
“It is good for the girls to have this kind of match,” said Coach Brewer. “It’s good tournament experience. The further you progress in tournament the more that is what it feels like.”
“Versailles is used to it,” Brewer continued. “You look at who they are playing in the MAC and every game they have is against an either better team or an even team so they are used to battling like that and we’re not. It is good experience for us.”
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-569-0122