But Crestview rallied in a tight must-win third set that saw seven tie scores. Sophomore outside hitter Adelyn Figley – who had managed only five kills through the first two sets – pounded in eight for the Knights in the third set to spark a 25-23 win.
“They don’t give up,” Crestview coach Tammy Gregory said of the Knights. “We knew we could play with them.”
It took only a single word from Kramer to get her Cardinals back on track – reset. It was time to refocus and reset.
“With a schedule like we play, it’s not out of the ordinary to be pushed to our limits,” Kramer said. “But these girls are going to find a way, we’re all on the same team with the same goal in mind.”
The Cardinals quickly wrestled away the momentum, jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set and never looking back. Crestview burned its second timeout trailing 3-12 and were unable to stop the balanced Cardinals attack.
Heitkamp finished with a match-leading 22 kills and Steininger tallied seven of New Bremen’s 16 aces.
New Bremen (27-1) will face Monroeville (23-4) in the D-IV championship match on Saturday. The Eagles – making their fifth state appearance and fourth in the past five years – finally got over the semifinal hurdle with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-16 win over Newark Catholic (25-3) Thursday to advance to the finals for the first time.
“We’ve always competed here but never won, so this takes a lot of pressure off us,” Monroeville coach Kendra Snook said. “Now we just need to continue to play Eagle volleyball.”
Senior outside hitter Maddie Daniel led the Eagles offense with 20 kills, doubling the output of the Green Wave’s leading scorer Sophie Chard-Peloquin with 10.
The Division III semifinals were later Thursday.
OHSAA Girls Volleyball State Tournament
Friday (Division II) Noon – No. 7 Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (18-7) vs. No. 8 Belmont Union Local (27-1); 2 p.m. – No. 5 Gilmour Academy (20-8) vs. No. 2 Hamilton Badin (27-1); (Division I) 4 p.m. – No. 8 Bishop Watterson (22-6) vs. No. 1 Ursuline Academy (23-3); 6 p.m. – No. 4 Perrysburg (21-6) vs. No. 2 Magnificat (25-2).
Saturday – 11 a.m. Division IV; 1 p.m. Division III; 3 p.m. Division II; 5 p.m. Division I