Jenna Marshal slams a kill for Versailles in the Lady Tigers regional finals match with CHCA. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Lady Tigers fall short in Regional Finals

The Elite Eight Versailles Lady Tigers volleyball team played with grit in Regional Championship match

KETTERING – The OHSAA DIII Elite Eight Versailles Lady Tigers volleyball team fell to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA) Lady Eagles in straight sets, 21-15, 25-20 and 25-23 and volleyball tournament play.

“It is just a strong program,” Versailles coach, Kenzie Bruggeman said of CHCA. “They don’t make a ton of errors, they serve really aggressive but it’s an experience not a lot of teams get.”

“You play the game – you take the risk of losing. They were able to use a lot of weapons that unfortunately we just could figure out a way to slow down.”

“The whole team showed grit all the time,” Bruggeman added. “To look at our season and get to the regional finals – I am just so proud of them and they should really be proud of themselves too.”

The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 first set lead with Versailles battling back to knot the score at 8-8, 9-9, 10-10 before falling behind 16-12 bringing a timeout from the Lady Tigers bench. CHCA would close out scoring on a 9-3 run to take the opening set 25-15.

Set No. 2 had Versailles down 0-2 before using a 7-1 scoring run to lead 7-3 with CHCA calling for a timeout. The Lady Tigers kept up the pressure moving out to a 12-5 advantage only to see the Lady Eagles battle back to trail 12-9 forcing a Versailles timeout.

The teams played to 13-13, 14-14 and 15-15 ties before CHCA made a run to go up 18-15 with Versailles calling a second timeout of the set. The Lady Tigers made it a 2-point set trailing 20-22 only to see CHCA score 3-unanswered points to take a 2-0 lead with a second game 25-20 win.

The third set of the day had the Lady Tigers keeping up with the girls from Cincinnati with the score tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before CHCA grabbed a 10-7 lead with Versailles taking a timeout. The Lady Eagles stretched its lead to 14-9 bringing Versailles final timeout of the set.

The Lady Tigers closed to within 3-points at 16-13 bringing a timeout from the CHCA bench. The Lady Eagles scored 2-points out of the timeout to lead 18-13 before the Lady Tigers took advantage of a 7-2 run to knot the score at 20-20 forcing CHCA to call its second and final timeout of the game.

The teams played to 22-22 and 23-23 ties before the Lady Eagles would score the final 2-points of the set to earn a 25-23 third set win and advance to the OHSAA Final Four.

“Those last two games we really battled and we did everything up and to the point that we wanted to,” said Coach Bruggeman. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t execute there at the end.”

Senior playing their final volleyball match for the Versailles Lady Tigers: Ashley Jones, Allison Mangen, Jenna Marshal, Kaylee Braun and Clare Rethman.

“We’re going home with a different color trophy but only eight teams walked away with a trophy today for our division, so one of eight says a lot,” Bruggeman stated. “We could have thrown in the towel a week before tournament, we were so far under .500. The girls could have given up – they just didn’t.”

“There’s tears (in the locker room) because it hurts. It’s allowed to hurt today but once you get some time away you’ll realize how much of a blessing this was and how fun it was.”

“I am so glad that our girls got to experience that level of play and be in this setting,” Coach Bruggeman concluded.

Versailles' Kaylee Braun goes up for a block in the Lady Tigers regional finals match with CHCA. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Coach Kenzie Bruggeman talks with the Lady Tigers during regional finals match at Trent Arena. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Kirsten Bomholt goes for a Versailles kill in the Lady Tigers regional finals match with CHCA. (Gaylen Blosser phto)
Clare Rethman finishes a Lady Tigers kill in regional tournament play. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Versailles volleyball coach, Kenzie Bruggeman encourages her Lady Tigers in regional finals match. (Gaylen Blosser photo)
Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser

Gaylen Blosser / Publisher

Gaylen Blosser is a sports enthusiast and has covered high school sports for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio. Gaylen has been a media sportswriter while most recently serving as Sports Editor for the local newspaper and will now serve as editor of Darke County Now while continuing to cover athletics. Gaylen is an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years and is the recipient of the OHSAA Friends of Athletes Award and OHSAA Respect the Game State Award. Contact Darke County Now Editor Gaylen Blosser at gblosser@darkecountynow.com or 937-459-9547.

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