New Bremen To Play For D4 State Title

Staff Writer

The New Bremen volleyball team is a win away from the first state title in school history after steadying some early-match nerves and setting up Paige Jones' record-setting performance on the floor of the Nutter Center.

The Cardinals (27-1) recovered from a first-set loss and got a record-setting 47 kills from Jones to defeat Buckeye Central 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-18 in a Division IV state semifinal match on Thursday at the Nutter Center.

New Bremen High School has never won a state championship in any team sport. That can all change on Saturday at 1 p.m., when the Cardinals face Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas at approximately 1 p.m.

"It means everything," New Bremen second-year head coach Diana Kramer said. "It means more than anything anyone else knows. This town deserves it. These girls deserve it. Everything that's happening now they've worked hard for. They worked hard for this before I was even part of this program."

Jones put down an Ohio state record 47 kills in a state match with an astounding 38 percent kill rate. The University of Michigan commit also had 20 digs. "I was felling pretty good from the beginning," Jones said. "It really started to click in the second set. Everyone was super nervous in the first set and then in the second set we started to feel good."

Just like their regional match last Saturday, the Cardinals started slowly. New Bremen fell behind 15-3 in the first set.

"Everything that could go wrong, was going wrong," Kramer said. "But that's volleyball. We've been in that situation."

The Cardinals found their footing despite not winning that first set, rallying to get to 22 points before Buckeye Central put the first set away. "We gained a lot of momentum in that set," Kramer said. "We outplayed them from that point."

New Bremen was locked in the rest of the way, controlling t he second set and rallying from a small deficit in the third set to take control.

"Everyone stepped up at key points," Kramer said. "Obviously when you have a player as good as Paige, we're going to set her. When her teammates got set, specificaly Taylor Paul, she put the ball away. She was the difference maker."

Paul finished the match with seven kills.

New Bremen showed up en masse, filling much of one side of the Nutter Center. "Saturday is our day to pay them back," Jones said. "They're our seventh man."