High School Volleyball: Jets’ sister act making ‘magical’ run at OHC North title

The Northeastern High School volleyball team may do a tiny bit of bickering on the floor, but that’s fairly typical — they’ve been arguing for years.

Of the Jets six starters, five are sisters — senior Emma Wiseman and sophomores Elizabeth Wiseman and Samantha Wiseman, as well as senior Mackenzie Grimm and sophomore Madison Grimm.

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At times, the sisters clash on the floor, Emma Wiseman said, but “it’s over in two seconds.”

“We just get over it because we’re family,” Madison Grimm said.

The Jets’ sister act is experiencing the best season in program history. Northeastern is 17-1 and 13-0 in the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division, 3 1/2 games up on second-place and defending champion Fairbanks (10-2 OHC). Northeastern has won eight straight matches since falling to Yellow Springs in five sets on Sept. 7.

Northeastern is currently ranked 20th in the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Division III state poll. The Jets have been as high as 15th.

The Jets have three league matches remaining. With a win at West Jefferson on Thursday, Northeastern can secure at least a share of its first league title in school history.

“It’s all due to the kids buying into team,” said Jets coach Phil Anders. “They’re all very team-oriented and they care about each other.”

Northeastern hosts Fairbanks on Tuesday and finish the season at Mechanicsburg on Oct. 10. They also have a non-conference matchup against Clark County rival Shawnee.

“Anybody can beat us on any given day,” Anders said.

A year ago, the Jets finished 13-8 and 10-5 in the Ohio Heritage Conference. They worked hard in the offseason to improve on last year’s record. Several players compete in club volleyball in the spring, Anders said.

“We have a lot of great talent,” Emma Wiseman said. “We didn’t have a bad season last year, but this year we’re just more skilled and definitely a lot more…”

“We’re coming together a lot better this year,” Madison Grimm said. “Half of our team is sisters. I think we just mesh super well, playing to people’s strong suits.”

Elizabeth Wiseman leads the OHC with 59 services aces and ranks third in digs with 259. Mackenzie Grimm ranks among the conference leaders in kills (4.46 pg), aces (second, 55) and assists (3.36 pg, 14th). Madison Grimm ranks sixth in assists with 5.63 per game and sixth in kills (2.49 pg). Samantha Wiseman is tied for second in blocks with 43, while Emma Wiseman is tied for sixth (38 blocks).

“I love getting to play with them my last two years in high school, so that’s been great, but we get at each other a bunch,” Emma Wiseman said. “We just focus on the next play and we encourage each other a bunch.”

Thankfully, the bickering stays amongst the sisters, Anders said. Chemistry has been key to the team’s success this fall, he said.

“The team is very, very focused this year,” Anders said. “The best thing I can say about them is that they really care about each other. They’re playing for each other, not for themselves.”

The Jets are also hoping to make a splash in the postseason. Northeastern advanced to the D-III district final in 2009, but lost to Versailles in three sets. The program has never won a district title, Anders said.

“It’s been a magical season and we hope the magic continues,” Anders said.

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