This weekend, ScoresBroadcast.com will top 1.5 million listeners since its inception in 2006-2007 when the online service offers coverage of top-of-the-line volleyball featuring No. 3 ranked New Bremen (24-3) and eight-time state champion Newark Catholic (20-5).
The Division IV state semifinal takes place at Vandalia-Butler High School on Saturday at 10 a.m. Online coverage begins at 9:30 with comments from the two head coaches, Diana Kramer of the Cardinals, and Caileigh Hughes of the Green Wave.
Listenership via SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System, soared to more than 4,000 on a single weekend last Saturday with play-by-play coverage of two regional matches at Northmont.
According to Todd VanTasel, CEO and chief technology officer at Christian Netcast, SCORES attracted an average of about 600-700 IP addresses per each covered event during its first several years of operation and has consistently reached 1,400-1,500 per webcast since.
“The 1.5 million figure attained by SCORES since it contracted with our service 15 years ago is a very conservative count,” VanTasel stated.
“This only measures the maximum number of concurrent IP addresses joined to webcasts during the second half of games at a moment’s time,” he pointed out.
“It does not measure the actual number of people listening or the number of addresses going in and out over the course of all webcasts. Both of these numbers are probably closer to 2.5- or 3-million.”
Once connected on Saturday morning, listeners will probably stay hooked.
“It should be a super match between two, tall, highly skilled clubs that seldom lose a match,” said Jack Kramer, SCORES play-by-play announcer.
He detailed that the Cardinals have dropped only 14 matches in five years and seek their third state crown in four seasons. And he noted that the Green Wave have maintained a fantastic tradition of success, reaching the state final four 21 times in school history, while claiming eight championships.
Both squads are senior-laden and possess length and height on their front lines. Newark Catholic returns all but one rostered player from the 2019 team which was nipped by Fort Loramie in a state semifinal. New Bremen then edged the Redskins for the state crown.
The Green Wave are led by middle and outside hitters Bryn Peddicord, a 5-8 senior; Maddie Kauble, a 5-10 sophomore; Harlei Antritt, a 6-0 senior; and Emma Franks, a 5-11 senior. Nikki Langenbrunner, a 5-10 senior, is the top assist-maker.
New Bremen’s attackers include Josie Reinhart, a 6-0 senior; Claire Pape, a 5-11 senior; Kaylee Fruend a 5-8 junior; and Elli Roetgerman, a 5-10 senior. Diana Heitkamp, a 5-7 senior, is the leader in digs and aces. The top blocker is a 5-11 freshman, Olivia Heitkamp.
The Midwest Athletic Conference team is extremely versatile and balanced. Four players have recorded over 160 kills, five have 38 or more aces, four have exceeded 50 blocks, and three have 130-plus digs.
Over the last two campaigns, the Cardinals and Green Wave have met one common regular season opponent, Marion Local, which thumped Newark Catholic (NC), 3-0, in both matches. New Bremen registered a hard-earned 3-2 victory over the Flyers this year.
The Cardinals were ranked No. 1 in Div. IV in five of six state coaches association polls this fall. In the rugged MAC, they finished in a third place tie.
“We look forward to the challenge,” said Caileigh Hughes, NC’s second-year head coach, a school alum, and former volleyball player at Allegheny College. “Our girls have played a tough Licking County League schedule and a mix of schools from Divisions II, III, and IV.”
She added, “Thanks to ScoresBroadcast, which draws a very large following of listeners on the Internet. It gives our fans in central Ohio and around the state a chance to keep pace with Saturday’s early match, point by point.”
The Cardinals/Green Wave winner returns on Sunday at 4 to play the Tiffin Calvert/Dalton winner for the Division IV state title. Calvert, unbeaten so far in 2020, was knocked out by New Bremen in a regional final last season and beat the Cards in a state final two years ago.