KALIDA — Both teams knew heading into Wednesday’s Division III district semifinal volleyball match at Kalida, it was going to be a battle.
Ottawa-Glandorf won the Western Buckeye League title, while New Bremen got tournament-tested each time it played a Midwest Athletic Conference-foe.
And as anticipated, the match played out that way.
O-G survived New Bremen’s challenge, by taking the best of five — 17-25, 27-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-11 — to advance to the district title match at 6 p.m. Saturday against Coldwater. Coldwater defeated Liberty-Benton in the second semifinal on Wednesday, 3-1.
O-G (20-5) started slow in the first set as it had four service errors.
“The first game (we were) a little bit flat. We missed quite a few serves,” O-G coach Ann Ellerbrock said. “We coach them to serve aggressively, but not into the net.
“So maybe it was just first-game jitters. But we came back and served aggressively in the last game, especially. We tried to go back to the fundamentals of passing and serving and it kept us in the game. It was a great matchup. What a game.”
On the night, the Titans served up a total of 10 aces. Kelsey Baldwin accounted for three of O-G’s aces.
Niki Ellerbrock was steady for O-G, recording a game-high 18 kills. Stacy Walker had 11 kills, while Anna Bellman added 10. Kelley Selhorst had a game-high 42 assists for the Titans.
O-G was fully aware of what New Bremen (13-12) was capable of and wasn’t fooled by its mediocre record.
“When you look at their Marion Local (match) going five games — and then they played Fort Loramie, Coldwater, Versailles tough — you know they play great competition to get them ready for this time of the year,” Ellerbrock said.
Julie Brown led New Bremen with 13 kills. Karli Jones dished out 27 assists, while Tarynn Clune had 16 digs for the Cardinals.
New Bremen coach Theresa Jenkins said, “We knew coming in that O-G was a very solid, a very good team. We knew we would have to bring our ‘A’ game. It was just a fight. At times, I thought it was a game that whoever makes the least amount of errors was going to win.”
Ellerbrock praised her team’s resiliency.
“I just think it was a nice team effort. We had a couple double-hits and lifts called. They could have really folded, but they kept their composure,” she said.