Eastwood’s Anna Ramlow not afraid of the competition

By: 
J. Patrick Eaken

Eastwood 5-foot-7 junior setter Anna Ramlow is this year’s Northern Buckeye Conference Player of the Year, District 7 Player of the Year and Division III honorable mention All-Ohio. 

Ramlow is the only player among the 10 teams in the Eastern Maumee Bay community who got any kind of all-state honors, but she deserved it.

“The kid loves the game of volleyball,” coach Jeff Beck said. “She’s played it since she was probably in the fourth grade and she has played it a high club level out of season. 

“She works extremely hard to get better. She’s extremely athletic in the sport of volleyball. Probably outside of middle hitter, she can play almost any position and has for us. At some point in time, she’s played right side, she’s played outside, she’s been a DS (defensive specialist), she’s been a libero and now she is our setter.”

Ramlow is the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Co-Player of the Year, leading Eastwood to a 19-5 season and co-champions of the Northern Buckeye Conference. She played in all 72 of Eastwood’s sets, finishing with a team high of 374 assists to go along with 70 kills, 13 aces, four blocks and 185 digs. She averaged 5.2 assists per set.

Ramlow is the type of competitor you would love to have in your tennis league — she would chase down every ball — guaranteed. 

“I just love competing,” Ramlow said. “Anything that gives me a chance to compete against other players, I love to do it and volleyball is one of those things. I feel like during practice and during games we are always competing and I just love having the ‘go get the ball’ kind of mindset. The ball is always mine and competing is the main thing that I love about it.”

She was part of Eastwood’s turnaround that saw them begin the season 8-4, and then go on a 12-game winning streak until losing in the Division three state final to Huron (25-2), which brought home their fifth state title this year. That turnaround saw the Eagles avenge a first round loss to league foe Lake, which they shared the NBC title with.

“In the beginning of the season we knew we were going to be pretty good and we kind of let that get to our heads a little bit. Then, when we started losing to teams like Whitmer that we knew we were better than, we had a talk with the entire team and we are just like, ‘Guys, this isn’t us. We know we are better than this,’” Ramlow said. 

“Then, we started to have more fun in practice and we changed our mindsets and in a snap, we turned it around so quickly and the next game we were winning. Then, it was the Margaretta game that really turned it around because that was a huge game for us. We had so much fun and we won in five — that was amazing for us.”

Beck adds, “I’ve never really been a part of a team that was basically 8-4, and then we never lost another game until the last match and won 12 in a row. It was just nice, because once we beat Margaretta, which was ranked in the state, we just looked at ourselves and we said, ‘You know what, this is us. We are not losing from here on out,’ and we didn’t lose. The only team we lost to was state champion Huron.

“I’ll be very honest, one of the biggest reasons for that was that the girls kind of sat down and they said that we are too talented to be 8-4 and we are too talented to be losing and we need to change our work ethic and approach how we train and how we play mentally differently, and we need to start now.

“And we also brought up a player from JV (freshman Nadia Miller) who helped out tremendously as well. She came in and became a starter in the middle in about our eighth match of the year. Ever since she came up, we hadn’t lost until the last match of the year. She was a setter on JV and we decided to put her in the middle and get some touches on the block, and she did. I mean, she owned. She owned that position and she helped us out tremendously.”

Beck says Ramlow is already getting college offers, but has not made any commitments yet. He described her all-state recognition as “huge.”

You have to give Lake credit, too, earning their first league title in volleyball in 43 years. Coach Amy Vorst, who happens to be an Eastwood graduate, is the All-Press Coach of the Year.

“The girls really get along. We have great chemistry on our team, and I think that is a key to any successful program and that is you have kids who understand it’s about more than just themselves,” Vorst said.

However, the Flyers barely got past the Eagles in the first match, taking the fifth set 16-14. 

“I kind of feel like we really missed out on taking that league title because the first time we played Lake it was 16-14 in the fifth, and we were up 14-13 to win it, and we lost,” Beck said. “So that went five, and the second time we played them we beat them in four. They were in the driver’s seat, but you know they have nearly everybody back next year, too.”

 

Next year looks even better

Speaking of everybody back, of four Eastwood players who are first or second team All-Press, only 5-7 senior defensive specialist Sheriden Schuerman is a senior. None of Lake’s four players are seniors, and two Flyers are freshmen.

Schuerman, who had a team high 330 digs and is first team All-Press, leaves the Eastwood program learning in the offseason how to be a champion.

“She’s been the libero all year. She was a great leader and she scouted teams probably as much as I scouted teams. She was totally invested in this year. She knew we had talent, she knew we could win the league and she worked extremely hard to help make that happen. She was a great extension of the coaching staff,” Beck said.

“What really helped her, she went to AAU nationals in July with her club team, and they ended up winning a national title in Florida. That just gave her a lot of confidence coming in to the high school season to say, ‘I am a great libero and no ball can get on the ground in front of me.’ She had a whole new mentality after her club season.”

Brenna Moenter, a 6-3 junior outside hitter, is first team All-Press after leading the team with 284 kills and 18 blocks.

“Brenna led the league in kills last year, she didn’t lead it this year but she still had close to 300,” Beck said. “The girl just doesn’t make a lot of errors, you know what I mean? She is just very consistent, she knows where she is going to put the ball down and she just is a force in the front row and in the back row attacking.”

Morgan McMillin, a 5-10 sophomore middle hitter, had a team second-best 121 kills and 18 blocks in earning second team All-Press. She will continue to lead the Eagles in the middle front row through her senior year, Beck guarantees.

“She was our ‘M-1,’ we call it,” Beck said. “She was our lead middle last year as a freshman and she was our lead middle this year. She is just improving every year and we are just excited to see what she can do by her senior year — that will be her fourth year in a row.”

Kaitlyn Luidhardt, a 5-9 junior outside hitter and right side setter, had 109 kills and is honorable mention.

“What a great surprise. Her freshman year, she blew out her ACL and then her sophomore year I think she wasn’t ready to come back until the end of the volleyball season, so we didn’t get her until then and she served for us a couple times, so truly her first two years she wasn’t really up to speed on our team,” Beck said.

“Her junior year she stepped in, became an outside hitter and she got our most improved (team award). She is just an all-around athlete. She plays basketball, softball and volleyball and she is good at everything she does.”

Lake's first team choices are junior outside hitter/setter Cassidey Wiley, sophomore middle blocker Ella Vorst and freshman middle blocker Taryn DeWese. Second team is freshman outside hitter/setter Vayda Delventhal.

“Cassidey is usually our leader or a close second every match. She’s got good experience,” Vorst told The Press. “She plays on a pretty high-level club team. She’s a good all-around player. She broke our ace record (97 aces) and she’s serving aggressively this year. But, she’s a great all-around player.”

Ella is the coach’s daughter, of course.

“That’s who we go to most of the time to try and establish middle first,” coach Vorst said. “She leads our team in blocks. She’s 6-foot-2, so she’s taller than I am now, and that’s crazy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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