Cardinals Advance To State Finals As Jones Breaks State Record

New Bremen's Paige Jones broke the Division IV state record in kills in a match at the state tournament with 47 kills in Thursday's state semifinal.
Sports Editor

There is a reason why she is the best and is heading to a Division I college.

Paige Jones broke the state tournament record for kills in a match with 47 to lead the New Bremen Cardinals to their first state final after defeating Buckeye Central in four sets, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-18 during Thursday's Division IV state semifinal at the Nutter Center of Wright State University.

The Cardinals (27-1) will play St. Thomas Aquinas (23-3), will defeated Fairfield Christian in three sets on Thursday.

Jones was hot all night, even when her team was not in the opening set.

Jones racked up all of the team's 14 kills in the first set as New Bremen trailed by as much as 15-3 after the Bucks went on an 8-0 run, but the Cardinals pulled within 10, down 21-12 as they ended the set on a 12-4 run.

Jones produced five of her 14 first-set kills during that span, while Rachel Kremer and Taylor Paul picked up an ace each, but despite the opening-set loss, it gave New Bremen the momentum it needed.

The Cardinals opened the second set with an 11-6 and eventually pushed the lead to 15-8. Jones ended the set with five more kills as New Bremen ended the set on a 10-8 run to even the match at 1-1.

Three kills from Jones and a kill by Julia Goettemoeller and Claire Pape gave the Cardinals a 7-4 lead to open the third set, but the set was tied five more times until Macy Puthoff gave the Cardinals 23-22 lead with a service ace.

A ball handling error on Buckeye Central's Addie Ackerman and another kill by Jones gave New Bremen a 2-1 set lead.

New Bremen led the entire way in the final set as Jones broke the record for kills in a match in a state tournament on a slam to give the Cardinals a 12-7 lead. Buckeye Central pulled within one, down 17-16 as part of a 9-5 run by the Bucks.

But the Cardinals ended the set and the match on an 8-2 run with four kills by Jones and two service aces by Paul. Jones 47th kill ended the match to send New Bremen to the finals.

Jones single handedly out-killed the Bucks with her 47 smashes compared to Buckeye Central's 41 as a team. Jones also shattered the state tournament record with her 109 attack attempts; the previous record was 91, held by New Philadelphia's Millie Patchan in 2010. Jones' 47 kills, which she broke in four sets on Thursday, also broke Patchan's mark of 40 from the same year in five sets.

Jones also finished with 20 kills and six assists, while Paul produced seven kills, three aces and four digs. Abbi Thieman collected 27 assists and dished out 18 digs and Madison Pape collected 25 assists to go along with 17 digs.