It’s The Cardinals Turn To Head To State

Members of the New Bremen Cardinals volleyball team celebrate after defeating Fort Loramie in Division IV regional final.
Sports Editor

For a full story, see Monday's print edition of The Evening Leader.

Regardless of what happened, they were going to force-feed the ball to their best player.

Facing match point, New Bremen was on the verge of heading to their first state appearance in volleyball when Paige Jones’ third smack of the net produced a thunderous kill as the senior dropped to her knees and screamed into the air at Northmont High School’s gymnasium.

“I was like, don’t be nervous, it’s either you miss it or you get it, there is always the next chance,’” Jones said. “So I just went hard at the ball.”

With all these other Midwest Athletic Conference teams vying for state titles year after year and falling to defending champion Jackson Center last year, who ended up winning a second straight title that year, the Cardinals defeated 2014 state champion Fort Loramie, 19-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-17 in Saturday’s Division IV regional championship.

The Cardinals will play Buckeye Central from the Elida Region in a state semifinal at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

After nerves overcame the Cardinals in the opening set, falling to the Redskins, New Bremen broke a 12-12 tie with a 13-8 advantage, including three consecutive aces by Jones at the serving line each aimed at Fort Loramie’s Emily Austin to tie the match at 1-1.

New Bremen used that momentum to open the third set with a 7-1 lead with two aces from Jones and an ace by Macy Puthoff, but the Redskins closed the deficit to just three at 13-10 midway through the set until the Cardinals to its 2-1 set lead with a 12-3 run.

Runs of 3-0 and 5-1 catapulted the Cardinals to state in the final set.

Leading 11-10, the Cardinals scored the next three points to push the lead to 14-10 and near the end of the set, the Cardinals put the Redskins away with a 5-1 advantage after leading 20-16, ending on Jones’ kill.