Volleyball: Fort Loramie keeping up success


Redskins have tough stretch coming up in next two weeks

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Fort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. The Redskins improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in SCAL play with a 3-0 victory. The squad is scheduled to face state-ranked New Bremen and Marion Local in the next two weeks, as well as league rival Jackson Center.

Fort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. The Redskins improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in SCAL play with a 3-0 victory. The squad is scheduled to face state-ranked New Bremen and Marion Local in the next two weeks, as well as league rival Jackson Center.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior outside hitter Summer Hoying spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Hoying led the squad with nine kills.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie senior middle hitter Katrina Berning spikes as Anna's Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Berning had six kills.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior defensive dives to make a dig during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior middle hitter Skyler Albers spikes as Anna's Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Albers had seven kills.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie sophomore libero Katie Luthman digs during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Luthman has made 133 digs this season.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie sophomore middle hitter Avery Brandewie spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Brandewie had seven kills.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie’s volleyball squad entered the season with five returning letterwinners, four of which were returning starters.

But despite a relatively youthful roster, the success has continued.

Fort Loramie improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in Shelby County Athletic League play on Tuesday with a 25-8, 25-12, 25-15 victory over Anna.

“I love this team. They are so much fun. Every day is a new adventure with them,” Fort Loramie coach John Rodgers said. “It’s cliché to say they’re working hard, but a young group like this, maybe they didn’t know how to work this hard. They’ve learned how to work hard in practice, and they’re learning the little details mean way more than they thought they did.”

All three of the squad’s returning starters were key hitters last year. Senior middle hitter Katrina Berning has 68 kills and 22 blocks to her credit this season while junior middle hitter Skyler Albers has 90 kills and 27 aces.

Three-year varsity player Summer Hoying has been a steadying presence. Hoying, a junior outside hitter, has made a team-high 142 kills. She also has about 30 aces and 80 digs to her credit and leads the team in serve receiving.

“In the front line, in the back row, on the court, off the court; she’s just an anchoring point for these girls,” Rodgers said of Hoying. “She’s one of the few girls that’s been in the locker rooms after season-ending losses that are tough, so she knows what it feels like. She knows what she needs to do and she knows how to play at that level. She’s leading them along really well. I’m real proud of her.”

Aside from the returning hitters, the squad had another key returning starter in sophomore setter Jenna Barhorst. She has 414 assists to her credit this season and ranks second on the squad with about 100 digs.

“She’s been doing tremendous,” Rodgers said. “She lives and breathes volleyball. She’s been such a great job of trying to get to know her hitters and what they like and things like that.”

Among the newcomers that are playing well is sophomore libero Katie Luthman, who leads the team with 133 digs. Junior defensive specialist Hallie Grillot has made about 60 digs.

Sophomore middle hitter Avery Brandewie ranks second on the team with 91 kills. Sophomore middle hitter Victoria Mescher, who played some last year, ranks fourth with about 65 kills to her credit. She also has about 30 aces.

“They’re all coming along great,” Rodgers said of the newcomers. “Some of them have big-time AAU experience, and some don’t have any of that. It’s a nice mix of athletes learning each other and learning the dynamics of volleyball that are so critical to win at the level we’re trying to play at.

“… Every player on this team is contributing in a very big way. Each one of them is learning to do what they do and contribute to the team.”

Fort Loramie, which has won the last three SCAL titles and 14 consecutive district titles, suffered its first league loss this season in a 3-2 defeat to Russia on Thursday. The Redskins won the first two games 25-17 and 27-25, but the Raiders won the last three 25-17, 25-14 and 15-13 to earn the victory and stay undefeated in league play.

“A lot of (our players) didn’t know what to expect going into a battle like that,” Rodgers said. “… We came out really strong, and Russia adjusted and made some big plays and stayed calm. We kind of panicked a little bit and could never get the ship going in the right direction again.

“But a loss like that this time of the year, it’s okay for a group like this. We learned a lot from it. We learned a lot more from a loss than we would have from a win.”

Thursday’s match was the first of several big contests the squad has in the last month of regular season.

Fort Loramie is scheduled to host New Bremen (11-1) on Saturday and Jackson Center (7-5, 4-3 SCAL) next Thursday before hosting Marion Local (13-2) on Oct. 3.

The Redskins will travel to Russia (11-3, 7-0) on Oct. 11 for what could be the defacto SCAL championship match before wrapping up regular-season play by traveling to St. Henry (8-3, 2-2) on Oct. 15.

Fort Loramie lost 2-0 to St. Henry in the Coldwater Spikeoff on Aug. 20 and dropped to 5-2 with a 3-1 loss to Versailles on Sept. 3. They won four consecutive matches before last Thursday’s loss.

“We’re really growing. Consistency is what we have to work on,” Rodgers said. “We’ve got lots of athletic players, but doing things consistently is huge. That’s hard to learn; that’s easier said than done. That’s a very difficult process with lots of young players. They don’t necessarily know what the grind feels like going through the season. They’re finding out, and they’re learning what consistency’s all about.”

Fort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. The Redskins improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in SCAL play with a 3-0 victory. The squad is scheduled to face state-ranked New Bremen and Marion Local in the next two weeks, as well as league rival Jackson Center.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5565-2.jpgFort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. The Redskins improved to 11-3 overall and 7-1 in SCAL play with a 3-0 victory. The squad is scheduled to face state-ranked New Bremen and Marion Local in the next two weeks, as well as league rival Jackson Center. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior outside hitter Summer Hoying spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Hoying led the squad with nine kills.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5533-Edit-Edit.jpgFort Loramie junior outside hitter Summer Hoying spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Hoying led the squad with nine kills.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie senior middle hitter Katrina Berning spikes as Anna’s Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Berning had six kills.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5405-Edit.jpgFort Loramie senior middle hitter Katrina Berning spikes as Anna’s Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Berning had six kills.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior defensive dives to make a dig during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5493-Edit.jpgFort Loramie junior defensive dives to make a dig during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior middle hitter Skyler Albers spikes as Anna’s Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Albers had seven kills.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5457.jpgFort Loramie junior middle hitter Skyler Albers spikes as Anna’s Liz Staudter tries to block during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Albers had seven kills.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie sophomore libero Katie Luthman digs during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Luthman has made 133 digs this season.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5647.jpgFort Loramie sophomore libero Katie Luthman digs during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Luthman has made 133 digs this season.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie sophomore middle hitter Avery Brandewie spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Brandewie had seven kills.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5474.jpgFort Loramie sophomore middle hitter Avery Brandewie spikes during a Shelby County Athletic League match on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Brandewie had seven kills.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/09/web1_BPB_5565-3.jpgFort Loramie players celebrate after scoring a point during a Shelby County Athletic League match against Anna on Tuesday in Fort Loramie.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News
Redskins have tough stretch coming up in next two weeks

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.