VAN WERT — The New Bremen volleyball team took a Midwest Athletic Conference-tested team into a new division and left with a sectional crown.
The Cardinals ousted Division III’s fifth-ranked team, Lima Central Catholic, in four games, 16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-12, at Lincolnview High School on Saturday.
New Bremen’s brand of volleyball, tested by some of the best teams in the state all regular season, travels well.
The Cardinals, who went 11-11 in the regular season, have found a fresh start in the postseason. New Bremen will face Western Buckeye League champion Ottawa-Glandorf on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Kalida High School at 6 p.m.
“After a few games this season, I kind of cleared my schedule in tournament time because the potential was there,” Jenkins said. “We just have to reach it to go as far as we choose to go.”
LCC, which lost just 15 games this season, ends its season at 20-3.
Julie Brown led New Bremen with 10 kills and six blocks. Tarynn Clune had 21 digs. Haley Moeller had 7 kills, 6 digs and 2 blocks. Karli Jones had 21 assists. Victoria Wente had 6 kills and 3 blocks.
New Bremen moved up a division this season, going from the tough Division IV sectional at Coldwater that includes state powers Marion Local, St. Henry along with solid programs in New Knoxville and Fort Recovery, to Division III.
On a night defending state champion St. Henry was being taken to the limit by familiar foe New Knoxville down in Coldwater, New Bremen took it to a team that rarely ever crosses paths with the Cardinals.
“It worked in our favor,” Jenkins said. “With those teams in the MAC, especially after you’ve lost to them in the regular season, it’s hard to not have that in your head. For us, a lot of these teams are teams we haven’t played all year. There’s kind of an unknow, but we know how we play.”
By the fourth game, New Bremen was rolling with a dominant front line blocking attack after T-Bird attack.
“I think we did have the momentum,” New Bremen head coach Theresa Jenkins said. “We really stressed to the girls on the bench just how much of a part in the game they really play. The girls that got in and the girls that didn’t get in took that role and they kept their teammates up. I think it was a full team effort.”
Liberty-Benton and Coldwater will play the second game on Wednesday night at approximately 7:15 p.m. at Kalida. Coldwater advanced with a 3-0 win over Fairview on Saturday.
ST. HENRY 3, NEW KNOXVILLE 2
COLDWATER — The Rangers appeared to have St. Henry on the ropes numerous times on Saturday. The defending state champions responded every time.
New Knoxville gave St. Henry all it could handle, but the Redskins got the momentum in the fourth and fifth sets to defeat the Rangers in five sets, 19-25, 25-16, 18-25, 25-19 and 15-10, at the Palace on Saturday night.
While one area volleyball power had a difficult time, another breezed to a sectional final win in the Division IV sectional championships at Coldwater.
The Marion Local Flyers defeated Fort Recovery in three sets, 25-17, 25-8 and 25-17. The Flyers will compete at the district tournament next Tuesday at Van Wert against Ottoville at 6 p.m.. Ottoville defeated Lima Temple Christian in three sets 25-22, 25-15 and 25-18, on Saturday.
St. Henry will face Lincolnview in the second match on Tuesday at 7:30 at Van Wert. The Lancers defeated Ada in four sets 25-21, 25-19, 16-25 and 25-23.
“It was an emotional match,” Rangers head coach Jill Roode said. “I knew coming in that if we won it was going to go five sets. It was going to be a tough match. There was no way that either team was going to win in three tonight. We both came in wanting to win.”
The Rangers end their season at 17-7, while the Redskins (20-3) will continue on to the districts against Lincolnview.
The sectional final had the look of a match much further up the tournament road, St. Henry head coach Diana Kramer said.
“It was a great match,” Kramer said. “I don’t think there is any other sectional final in the state that is close as this sectional was. New Knoxville played an awesome match and they have a lot of talent coming back and they put a lot of pressure on us and we were lucky to come out with a victory.”
Haley Horstman led New Knoxville with nine kills. Rachel Leffel had eight kills and Meg Reineke had seven kills. Taylor Niemeyer added seven kills.