February 27, 2013
Going undefeated in one sports season is awesome. Going undefeated in two sports seasons in one school year is simply phenomenal.
During the 2012-13 school year, the Ottawa-Glandorf girls’ junior varsity volleyball and basketball teams went 19-0 and 22-0, respectively, and both won Western Buckeye League titles. Three athletes, Lauren Buddelmeyer, Kianna Siefker, and Madison Stechschulte, were members of both teams.
Buddelmeyer, a freshman, grinned, “We didn’t think we would be that good.” Siefker, a sophomore, added, “It’s everyone’s dream to be number one, and we did it! We worked together perfectly.”
The young ladies have been involved in sports for a number of years. All three began playing volleyball in fifth grade; Stechschulte and Buddelmeyer have competed in basketball since they were four years old, while Siefker embarked on her hoops career through the Mighty Mites program in kindergarten or first grade. Each acknowledged one person who helped them hone their skills; for Siefker, it was an older cousin who played volleyball. Buddelmeyer and Stechschulte have older siblings who were involved in athletics. In addition, Buddelmeyer and Stechschulte are first cousins, so they have been in competition with one another since they were small.
The volleyball team, coached by Gary Herman, never lost a first set during the season. Only a few of the matches went to three sets. The ladies determined their first WBL game, versus Celina, was the most hotly contested, as it went to three sets.
Two basketball games were particularly memorable under first-year mentor Mandy White. In the first, the Titans trailed Wapakoneta the entire contest, but the Blue and Gold battled back. “Wapak could have won on a last second shot,” recalled Siefker. “They took a shot, but missed it.” In another particularly tough game, O-G had been the underdogs versus Lima Bath. Although the game was close, the Titans pulled out a five-point victory.
Which sport, volleyball or basketball, is the ladies’ favorite? Buddelmeyer and Siefker promptly selected volleyball. Stechschulte, a sophomore, wrinkled her nose when the question was posed to her. She picked neither, as track is her forte. She was a member of the 4 x 100 relay team that placed eighth in the state last year.
Stechschulte liked the camaraderie of being on the teams. She explained everyone got along very well, which made it more fun. Buddelmeyer simply enjoyed being with her teammates each day. Siefker related, “I liked being able to put on a jersey and play a sport I really love.”
In addition to being stars on the court, the student-athletes shine in the classroom. Buddelmeyer sports a 4.0 GPA, while Stechschulte’s is 3.8 and Siefker maintains a 3.5.
These three ladies are all-around winners, hands down.