Riding a 13-match win streak, East Clinton meets with state-ranked Versailles 2 p.m. Saturday at Fairfield High School in a Division III Southwest District championship volleyball match.
The Astros (21-2) have defeated Finneytown and Cincinnati Country Day in two sectional matches.
One might look at Versailles 16-6 record and fourth place league finish and think the Tigers aren’t so mighty.
Versailles finished fourth in the ultra-strong Midwest Athletic Conference regular season standings but are ranked No. 3 in the state among Division III schools.
New Bremen, the MAC champion, is ranked No. 1 in Division IV while MAC runnerup Marion Local was ranked No. 2 in Division IV. Coldwater, the third place MAC team, was ranked No. 4 in Division III.
Kirsten Bomholt and Brynn Briscoe were named first team All-MAC with Bomholt earning MAC Player of the Year honors.
East Clinton lost a 26-24, 25-23 match to state-ranked Preble Shawnee earlier in the season.
The Astros have not lost since a Sept. 14 match at Williamsburg. There are 10 seniors on the team, Aubrie Simpson, Trinity Bain, Luisa Rigolin, Megan Tong, Eryn Bowman, Lauren Stonewall, Jozie Jones, Kami Whiteaker, Libby Evanshine and Savannah Tolle.
“This is a special group,” EC head coach Sarah Sodini said. “They have a taste for hard work and greatness that a lot of kids are missing. It’s been such an easy job to coach them. They teach me as much as I teach them on a daily basis. I know that it’ll likely not be as easy in the future, but I know that I have great kids coming up and we’ll push forward.”
With a veteran group and experience in high intensity matches this season, including the Wilmington and CCD matches, Sodini believes her squad is up to the challenge of facing Versailles.
“Several of the girls were spent (after CCD),” Sodini said. “I think that the Wilmington game was so emotional and intense for me, the staff and the girls because of (Lauren) Runyon going down in warm-ups. Physically (CCD) was similar. Savannah got hurt early on but played through. They’ve been working out with our trainer, Lara Wilkinson, and they’ve been preparing for matches like this since June.”