New Bremen's Volleyball State Title School's First

Staff Writer

Saturday at the Nutter Center turned into more a coronation than a competition for the New Bremen volleyball team. There’s no one in Division IV that could keep up with Paige Jones and the Cardinals in 2017.

New Bremen overpowered St. Thomas Aquinas in three sets to wrap up a 28-1 season and capture the school’s first-ever team state championship in front of a wall of thousands of crimson-clad, screaming fans.

“We just knew that if we play our game, we’re hard to beat,” said New Bremen senior Paige Jones, who set two new state kills records over the weekend.

And now the best small-school conference in Ohio now has a membership full of champions. New Bremen earned the 122nd team state title for the Midwest Athletic Conference and joined the ranks of the nine other full-time members that have team state titles.  

New Bremen head coach Diana Kramer said it only took New Bremen this long to get its long-sought championship because the competition around it has been so good. “New Bremen has had unbelievable teams for years,” Kramer said. “It takes an unbelievable team, some luck and everything to fall into place. I’m just thankful everything fell into place for us.”

New Bremen senior Paige Jones, who set a new OHSAA record for kills with 47 in a match on Thursday and a two-game state record for kills with a combined 72 kills, dazzled on the state’s biggest stage.

Jones is headed north to Ann Arbor following her senior year to play volleyball for the University of Michigan, a decision which sometimes gives opposing student sections some ammunition to lob her way during matches.

“I’m used to it,” she said with a laugh, shaking off the O-H-I-O chants from opposing student sections over the weekend.

Besides, the 6-foot-1 senior has a bright future to contemplate.

“She set a bunch of records here,” Kramer said. “And she’s going to set a bunch more at Michigan.”

While New Bremen won the 122nd MAC team state title, Versailles added to the total just a couple hours later.

“When you look up in the crowd and see the entire side is just packed and the entire town was here,” New Bremen head coach Diana Kramer said. “The entire town has been with us the entire season. And then with Coldwater and Versailles playing after us, everybody from the MAC is here. That’s the kind of camaraderie we have. When we play each other we want to beat each other, but when push comes to shove we support each other. It’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true.”