KETTERING — After losing in regionals the last three years, Versailles is heading back to the Nutter Center.
Versailles swept Summit Country Day on Saturday at Trent Arena in Kettering to earn its first state berth since 2018.
It was one of the most complete games Versailles has played all season. Coach Liz McNeilan said the team looked relaxed during the pregame and were enjoying the moment. They came out on fire and rarely slowed down.
“I can’t take credit for that. These girls, these seniors and the leadership, it goes to show. You turn around and see the bench out of their seats every other play. I’m just so proud of them,” McNeilan said.
The Tigers came out swinging with a 4-0 start to the first set. The Silver Knights did stick around for a bit as Versailles was committing some service errors.
But that didn’t stop the Tigers from being aggressive from the service line. They eventually got Summit Country Day out of system with the serving game and got some aces.
Versailles went on to win the first set, 25-13. The next two sets, Versailles won 25-12 both times.
The Tigers were able to repeat their success in each set. The serving game led them to free points and opened up lanes for their offense. McNeilan said the team has worked hard on getting an advantage in a match with their serving.
“The girls have practiced it in and out everyday. Talking about the corner, serve the corner, serve here and be aggressive. They were able to execute without even second guessing it today,” McNeilan said.
The team finished with nine service aces in the match. Senior Kirsten Bomholt led the team with three aces. Senior Brynn Briscoe and junior Cassie Bomholt each had two aces.
The offense executed their game plan and benefited from the serving game. With the Silver Knights out of system, it made it easier for the team to get points in chunks.
McNeilan said Briscoe ran a great offense going more up tempo to beat the Silver Knights’ blockers to the spot. She had 35 assists in the game. For kills, Kirsten finished with a team leading 13 kills with Cassie and senior Hailey Porter finishing in second with nine each.
Serve receive was also key to getting the offense going. Junior Brooke Briscoe finished with 19 digs in the match. She was able to gain control of the ball for her team and let the offense get to work.
The team will play Lake Catholic on Thursday at Wright State’s Nutter Center. The match is set for a 4 p.m. start.
McNeilan said the preparation for what could be the last two games of the season will be intense. But more importantly, she wants to make it special for her team.
“It’s all about the memories for these girls. We’ll pick up the intensity, but we’re going to make it memorable for them,” McNeilan said.
The Tigers won the D-III state title in 2018 and 2017. They’ve advanced to state seven times in program history and have won three state titles.
Lake Catholic was been ranked No. 1 in D-III most of the season in the state coaches association poll. The Cougars (25-2) have yet to lose a set in tournament play, like Versailles. The Tigers were ranked No. 3 in the final poll of the season.