BROOKVILLE — Versailles had a dominant performance in defeating Springfield Northeastern in straight sets Thursday night in a Div. III sectional final in Brookville.
Versailles went on a 6-0 run with Alexa Didier serving to open the first set, and with Liz Ording on the serve opened the second set on a 8-0 run. It all led to the Tigers sweeping the Jets 25-11, 25-7, 25-16 to advance to the district finals on Saturday where they will face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy at 4:30 p.m. at Northmont.
“We definitely wanted to focus on serving tonight,” Versailles coach Kenzie Bruggeman said. “We told Lex that she is our first server and we wanted her to at least get three. Anything above that is a positive and she started off with a 6-0 run. You can’t ask for anything better than that.
“Then I thought our blocking was huge tonight,” she continued. “That slowed the ball down and we were able to get into our offense which is one of our biggest threats. The run to start the second set was huge too. It is just really big when we can execute on serve-receive, and then on top of that when we execute on serve-receive getting those runs when we have people going back to the line.”
The 6-0 run in the first set included a kill by junior Lindsey Winner to make it 2-0 and an ace serve for Didier at 6-0 forcing an early timeout by Northeastern. The Jets got the very next point but the Tigers rolled again a kill and an ace from Liz Ording. Versailles never let up in running all the way to 21-9 before Northeastern reached double figures in points.
The second set was just as dominant with Ording serving the Tigers all the way to 8-0 before Northeastern scored. She got help along the way with kills from Winner and Kelsey Custenborder. Winner added a few more kills and a couple of blocks en route to the 25-7 second-set win.
”Lindsey is really starting to click,” Bruggeman said. “She’s figuring out her swing and she knows how she can dominate the game, so we try to get her involved in our offense as much as possible along with Liz. They are just really seasoned players who have been working their tails off.”
Northeastern mounted a bit more of a challenge in the third set keeping the match close at the way to a 12-12 tie before the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to get to 19-12 on an ace serve by Didier. Versailles allowed just four more points the rest of the way in taking the final two points for the overall victory.
“I told the girls we can’t be satisfied yet,” Bruggeman said of her conversation with the team during a timeout in the third set. “We did well the first two games, but we can’t be satisfied and let go of the gas pedal. We live and die by our serve-receive and we weren’t dialing in on that. We had a lot of missed serves and it was all first ball contact, so we dialed it back into that and once we kind of got that back in order it was a different game.
“I can’t say I know much about them,” she continued referring to their next opponent the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Eagles. “What we tend to do typically in the postseason is just focus on our side and how we can get better, so right now our main focus is what we are going to be doing in our practice (Friday) so we can be prepared for Saturday.”
New Bremen 3, St. Henry 0
The defending state champion and No. 3-ranked Cardinals defeated top ranked St. Henry 23-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-13, 15-13 in a Thursday night Division IV volleyball district final in Van Wert. No other match information was reported.
The Cardinals (21-4) advance to face the winner of Lehman Catholic vs. Fort Loramie. The Cavaliers and Redskins will meet in a district final on Saturday in Troy.
Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316, or follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.