to provide volleyball coverage of New Bremen, Fort Loramie

At stake, a state semifinal match next Thursday at noon

When you explore recent results of hard fought volleyball matches between New Bremen and Fort Loramie, you might think the Redskins have a little score to settle, starting Saturday afternoon.

Since 2016 New Bremen has taken ten of the last eleven head-to-head scraps including a 2019 state championship match that spanned four sets.

Paced by 16-year head coach John Rodgers, underdog Fort Loramie, 21-6, takes on number one ranked New Bremen, 25-1, led by seven year coach Diana Kramer, in a Division IV regional final at Northmont High School on Saturday at 2 p.m. calls the play-by-play. Online match coverage begins at 1:30.

At stake on Saturday is a berth in the D-IV state semifinal next Thursday at 12 noon versus the Hicksville-Convoy Crestview winner at the Elida regional. Wright State’s Nutter Center is the state tourney site. The D-IV championship match is set for Saturday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m.

In Saturday’s two other region finals, Wellsville is paired with Monroeville and Newark Catholic battles New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic.

Interestingly, at least one or two of these programs have been opponents of Fort Loramie, New Bremen and other Midwest Athletic Conference schools in past state tourneys.

Today, New Bremen hopes to build off its regular season triumph over Fort Loramie, a nip ‘n tuck five-setter on Sept. 24 at the Redskins gymnasium.

The Shelby County program won the 2020 regular season tilt between the two schools and downed the Cardinals twice back in 2014 and 2015. John Rodgers’ club blitzed to the D-IV state title in 2014, thumping Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph and McComb.

New Bremen’s streak of eight wins in a row over Fort Loramie from 2016 through 2019 included numerous four-set matches. Diana Kramer’s Cardinals earned state crowns in 2017 and again two years later. She coached St. Henry to a state title in 2011.

Wednesday’s D-IV regional semifinals at Northmont were not nearly as close as expected.

Fort Loramie scored a resounding triumph over Russia, 21-6, in straight sets — 25-15, 25-18 and 25-15. Russia held only a few brief one-point leads throughout the entire match and inched in front 15-13 in the middle of the second set. The Redskins then tallied 12 of the final 15 points to close out that game comfortably.

New Bremen topped Jackson Center, 19-8, in the other semi, also in three sets — 25-15, 25-20 and 25-13. The Tigers trailed 22-20 late in the second game before the Cardinals ran off three straight points. New Bremen scored the final six points to wrap up the opening set.

Although these Wednesday southwest region semifinals finished in lopsided 3-0 scores with the winners gaining the upper hand right away, the game of volleyball often includes many twists and turns with numerous momentum swings and lead changes during a match.

And, sometimes, surprising final scores result.

Take this year’s D-IV northwest region, for example, where Convoy Crestview, a close loser to Russia in the season, shocked number-four-ranked and two-time state champ Tiffin Calvert in five sets on Thursday night. And Hicksville, a fourth place finisher in its own conference, stunned Carey in four sets.

Like the New Bremen-Fort Loramie match, the Crestview-Hicksville region final is Saturday at 2. By the way, during the season, New Bremen handled Crestview easily, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-16.

Meanwhile, Versailles and Coldwater remain hot in D-III. The Tigers chewed up Cardington Lincoln and Coldwater drowned Sherwood Fairview on Thursday. Both were quick three-setters.

Versailles tackles Summit Country Day at Kettering Fairmont today at 2. Coldwater is a big favorite over Galion at Lake High School this afternoon. It is possible for these two MAC programs to play for the D-III state championship next Saturday.

In the highly competitive MAC, New Bremen and Coldwater split the title this year with one loss each. The Cardinals clipped Coldwater but dropped an early season match at Marion Local.

Fort Loramie and Russia shared the Shelby County Athletic League championship with identical 11-1 records.
At stake, a state semifinal match next Thursday at noon