By MARK RUSCHAU
NEW KNOXVILLE — The St. Henry Redskins and New Knoxville
Invitational champions have become almost synonymous.
For the 15th time in tournament history and eight times in the
last nine years, the Redskins took home the championship hardware
as they defeated, fellow Midwest Athletic Conference member,
the New Bremen Cardinals 15-8, 15-3 in the final on Saturday.
“When we took care of the ball, we played the way we are
capable of,” said St. Henry coach Lori Schwieterman. “When
we took care of the ball, we looked like the powerful St. Henry
team that we can be.”
The Redskins indeed played their game in the final as they totally
dominated play from the outset as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead
and never trailed. Lindsay Hess and Cami Lefeld each had two
offensive kills in the first five points.
After giving New Bremen two points to make the score 5-2, the
’Skins again went on a five-point run to take a commanding
10-2 lead. Lefeld and Lanae Mikesell each had kills and Kim
Hess had a service winner and a kill.
As dominating as the ’Skins were in the first game, they
were even more dominating in game two. Defensively, St. Henry
gave up just two offensive kills and a service winner while
they recorded five defensive kills, three by Lindsay Hess.
Offensively, St. Henry was led in game two by Lindsay Hess with
three offensive kills. Kim Hess, Christa Schwartz and Maria
Wuebker each had service aces.
“I was pretty pleased with the way we played,” said
New Bremen coach Lisa Thobe. “I would of liked to have
seen us play better against St. Henry but the other two matches
I was very happy with.”
The final match was anti-climatic to two great semifinal games,
which saw St. Henry struggle with Parkway before subduing the
Panthers 7-15, 15-2, 15-4 and New Bremen blow out a Fort Loramie
Redskin squad that manhandled them earlier in the week, winning
Parkway never trailed in game one as it took advantage of two
St. Henry errors and a kill by Emily Snyder to take a 3-0 lead.
St. Henry was able to rally back and tie the game at three but
Parkway scored the game’s next eight points, taking an
11-3 lead and would never be caught again. Erika Snyder and
Erica Yoder each had service aces and Addie Hays and Abby Harner
each had two kills.
The ’Skins regrouped and came roaring back in the second
game. After spotting Parkway the first point, St. Henry scored
the next seven points and never trailed. Wuebker started the
run with a service ace, Lindsay Hess added three kills and Nicole
Elking and Lefeld each added one kill.
The ’Skins had the first serve of game three and scored
the first four points of the game and never trailed. Lefeld
started the game with a kill and Lindsay Puthoff and Christie
Hess each added kills to the flurry.
Offensively, nine of the Redskins’ points in game three
came on kills and two came on a pair of service winners by Wuebker.
“I just don’t think we were ready to play against
Parkway in that first game,” said Schwieterman. “They
got a little momentum and they played their best game and we
played one of our worst and we got beat. We were able to get
that behind us and play better.”
“I was really happy with our performance today,”
said Parkway coach Todd Henkle, who saw his team record wins
over New Knoxville in the opening round and over Fort Loramie
in the consolation game. “Coming off a match on Thursday
at New Bremen where we weren’t prepared to play and then
today we came back and played well, to the girls credit.
“We came out and played with confidence against St. Henry
and that is what you have to do if you want to beat St. Henry,”
continued Henkle. “Overall, I was happy with the weekend,
it will make Sunday a lot easier.”
New Bremen’s win over Fort Loramie was impressive, considering
the fact that these very same Redskins drilled the Cardinals
15-4, 15-3 this past Tuesday night at Fort Loramie. The Cardinals
used a balanced attack both offensively and defensively. Defensively,
six different Cardinals recorded kills in the match led by Anna
Schlater and Kelly Steineman with seven each. Offensively, seven
recorded kills, led by Steineman with four.
“I was very happy with the way we came out and played
against Fort Loramie, especially after the way they killed us
on Tuesday,” said Thobe.