The Roger Bacon Spartans showed once again that doing the little things can go a long way in the sports. Despite facing a clear height disadvantage against the Versailles Tigers, Roger Bacon downed the Tigers 25-23, 25-23 and 25-22 winning the D-III Region 12 volleyball championship.
The Roger Bacon Spartans showed once again that doing the little things can go a long way in the sports.
Despite facing a clear height disadvantage against the Versailles Tigers, Roger Bacon downed the Tigers 25-23, 25-23 and 25-22 winning the D-III Region 12 volleyball championship. The Spartans head to the state final four one more time. This marks their sixth trip in eight years.
“We had some big people come in and practice against us this week and I told them to really pound on them,” commented Bacon coach Caryl Schawe “I felt if we could hit it through the blocks we had a chance against Versailles.”
The goal coming into the contest for Schawe’s crew was to spread out the Versailles blockers. By doing so they hoped it would open up some hitting lanes, which it did.
The Spartans got solid hitter from all their hitters, but Alli Wilson and Chelsea Hoffman were the most effective. On defense, Bacon did most of their damage on pure heart. Their middle blockers took away some Versailles opportunities and the back row dug the rest.
“Anything we do out there is a gift,” noted Schawe “We told our blockers to at least get a touch and anything beyond that was a gift. These kids just really came to play today.”
When the two teams stepped on the court, it was immediately clear that Roger Bacon would have to use their head as much as their skill to win the contest. Versailles as usual attacked the net. In the early going and it looked as if the hitting duo of Justine Raterman and Emily Bohman would dominate once again.
The Tigers took a 5-3 lead, but after that Bacon chipped and poked at the Tigers. But still Versailles maintained the advantage most of game and had a 21-19 lead at one point.
In what became a pattern, the Spartans stormed back and tied things at 22-22. From there they outscored Versailles 3-1, winning the first game 25-23. More importantly it was clear the Tigers game plan was not clicking.
The second game was a lot like the first one. Storming out of the gate the Tigers took a 4-1 advantage, but the veteran Spartan crew was never rattled.
They continued spreading the floor, playing solid defense and finding the holes in the Versailles defense. Bacon closed the early deficit by a few points, but it took a lot longer to catch the Tigers.
It finally happened when Hoffman tied the game at 21-21 with her serve. Like the first game, this one was a sprint to the finish and the Spartans won going away. Wilson delivered the game point on her serve as Bacon took the second game 25-23 and were now in control of the match.
Sensing a chance to put the match away and punch the ticket to state, Bacon turned the tables in the third game.
This time it was the Spartans taking the early lead at 5-2. Like their opponent had done the previous two games, Versailles clawed back 10-9, but Roger Bacon responded.
The Spartans went on an 11-5 run, taking command of the third game at 21-16. With their back firmly placed up against the wall Versailles made one last mad dash to save their season.
Riding the determination of Bohman and Raterman Versailles got close, but not nearly close enough. They managed to close to 23-20, but again the Spartans had an answer; keep doing what they had done all day.
Bacon stymied the Versailles push reaching match point at 24-22. After breaking the Tiger serve they hit the magic number 25 and completed the 3-0 match sweep.
“We blocked a lot of balls but they just wouldn’t fall inbounds,” commented Versailles coach Jeremy Riley “I felt the first two games could have gone either way and unfortunately they did not go our way.”