came into Thursday's match with visiting Versailles on a down turn, having lost back-to-back games to
Minster and Sidney Lehman Catholic. Versailles, the state’s No. 1
ranked D-III team, on the other hand had just rolled over Covington and
Lehman. That all meant very little.
Despite being ranked No. 3 in the Division IV state poll, the Cardinals came into the match on a down turn, having lost back-to-back games to Minster and Sidney Lehman Catholic. Versailles, the state’s No. 1 ranked D-III team, on the other hand had just rolled over Covington and Lehman.
That all meant very little Thursday.
“This is a major win,” New Bremen coach Lisa Thobe said. “This was all about emotions and heart.”
As for the Tigers they appeared to be going through the motions more often that not, something coach Jeremy Riley noted after the match.
“New Bremen had all the emotion and we did not,” Riley said. “It was like pulling teeth to get any emotion from us tonight. New Bremen was very scrappy and allowed us to make mistakes and was just the better team tonight.”
There were moments where the Tigers physical advantage was clear as they dominated the net, but once again unforced errors haunted Versailles the entire match. Bremen was able to take advantage, using heart and guts to pick away at the Tigers and eventually win.
The Cards determination was in full display in the opening game. With Versailles raining down kills New Bremen found itself down 16-11, but in an instant everything changed.
Taylor Jones spearheaded the Cards, who despite a height disadvantage managed to connect on some crucial kills. Linsday Warner served the Cards to within one at 19-18 and from there it was all New Bremen.
Becca Dwenger gave the Cards their first lead of the game 22-21 and eventually the hosts completed the comeback and took the first game 25-23.
It was an amazing feat for the Cards who were now thinking upset.
As is often the case in volleyball the momentum quickly swung back to Versailles. Behind the hitting trio of Justine Raterman, Megan Campbell and Emily Bohman the Tigers once again stormed out to a 16-11 advantage.
Stunningly, New Bremen again came charging back. The Cards kept pecking away and finally tied the game 23-23. However, unlike the first game they couldn’t complete the comeback and Versailles survived 27-25, tying the match 1-1.
“We just had to stay positive,” Thobe said, “and ignore any negatives in this match.”
That mindset was really tested in the third game.
Taking control at the net, Versailles roared back from a 4-2 deficit, took the lead at 13-12 and never looked back. Emily Bohman’s service made it 19-15 and Versailles cruised to an easy 25-19 win.
Up 2-1 it looked like Versailles’ talent would trump New Bremen’s heart. Not so fast.
Facing elimination New Bremen fell behind 6-3 in game four. After that they outscored Versailles 22-14. The big swing came on the serve of Dwenger who turned a 9-8 deficit into an 11-9 advantage.
From that point on Bremen took control and won the fourth game 25-20.
With everything working their way, the Cards came out for the fifth game and started fast.
Taking advantage of Versailles errors, New Bremen took a 5-2 advantage and never slowed down. The Tigers managed to get to within two at 11-9, but needing only to reach 15 the Cards held off Versailles and won the finale 15-10.
New Bremen improves to 14-3 overall and 6-1 in conference. Versailles drops to 18-2, 5-2. Both trail Marion Local, the state’s No. 1 D-IV team, in the conference race. The Flyers are 19-1, 7-0. New Bremen is at Marion on Tuesday.