By Rob Kiser
FAIRBORN — It will be a familiar matchup in the second D-III state volleyball semifinal at the Nutter Center Thursday.
Versailles (18-10) and Tuscarawas Valley (25-2) met in the state semifinals a year ago, although both have had to replace key members of their roster to make it to the 6 p.m. match.
They will be preceded by the others semifinal between 28-0 Defiance Tinora and 24-3 Independence.
The Lady Tigers won last year’s match 25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21.
Tuscarawas Valley advanced to the Final Four by defeating Chillicothe Southeastern 25-22, 25-11, 22-25, 28-26. Versailles advanced with a 18-25, 25-17, 30-28, 27-25 win over Marion Pleasant..
Versailles is making its seventh appearance in the state tournament and has a 5-4 record in Final Four matches.
Tuscarawas Valley is making its 10th appearance and has a 2-9 record in Final Four matches.
So, how do they stack up on paper?
Versailles is led by two of the top hitters in the state in 6-foot senior right side hitter Liz Ording and 6-2 junior middle Lindsey Winner.
Winner has 364 kills and 98 blocks, while Ording has 353 kills and 71 blocks.
Ording can also be deadly from the service line.
She ended the Marion Pleasant regional final with an ace and the southpaw has 33 on the season.
Two other key pieces on the front line are 6-1 senior outside hitter Reagan Shaffer and 5-10 sophomore middle Emma George.
Shaffer has 153 kills, while George has 61 blocks.
Running the offense is 5-10 senior setter Kelsey Custenborder, who has 762 assists.
Junior libero Caitlin McEldowney (5-3) has 35 aces and 342 digs, while 5-5 senior Alexa Didier has also served 35 aces.
The Lady Trojans from Tuscarawas Valley rely heavily on three big hitters up front.
Arora Levingood, a 5-7 sophomore, is a triple threat.
She leads the team with 227 kills, 374 assists and 50 aces.
Sage Peters, a 5-8 senior right side/middle, is another big contributor up front.
She has 183 kills and 45 blocks and has also been good for 254 digs in the back row.
Jadyn Kuykendall, a 5-8 senior, is another triple threat for the Lady Trojans.
The right side/setter has 182 kills, 293 assists and has served 35 aces.
Freshman Taylor West has stepped in to the lineup this year and been the team’s top blocker.
The 6-2 middle has 49 blocks on the season.
Ashlynn Adams, a 5-5 junior, has served 39 aces to lead the team, while 5-5 sophomore libero Kaya Russel leads the defense with 255 digs.