The 1990-91 school year in Celina will be longed remembered as the year Celina won it’s first and only State Championship in girls basketball. It is remembered for Jill Froning’s desperation 3-point field goal at the buzzer to beat nationally ranked Pickertington in the Regional finals and than went on to win the State title over Rocky River Magnificant 53-50 in the state championship game. It was a great memory for all who wear the green and white.
But what gets overlooked is that in the fall (1990) the Bulldogs volleyball team was one of the best that has ever played at Celina. The Bulldogs went 26-1 on the season losing for the first time in the D I Regional finals to Stow, who would go on to win the State title.
Celina would win the WBL, the Bulldog Invitational, the Eaton Invitational, plus a
Sectional and Division Championship.
It was probably the best season for veteran head Coach Mary Lou Bambauer, who
coached at Celina from 1978 through 1993 and ended her career with a 328-61
record. Bambauer during her run at Celina led the Bulldogs to 11 league titles
in her 16 seasons.
The 1990 team was so deep that many times Celina would start a completely different
group of six in the second game. Rally scoring did not come into place until 2004, so matches were decided by winning two out of three games to 15 points. You could only score when your team was serving, a much different game than what we see today. That’s what made it so impressive to be able to have that much depth.
The Bulldogs were led by Carey Poor, the multi-sport athlete was one of the top hitters in the state and had she wanted she could have played D I volleyball. Poor, who was a Junior, was also a key member of the State basketball champions. Two other members of the state basketball team also played key roles, including Froning and Kristine Opperman.
Carey (Poor) Walley
What I really remember is having really good comradery with this team. We did things on the court and off the court. It was a well-balanced team. We had a several big hitters and our setters could also hit. We rarely gave away a free ball. We chased everything down and didn’t give up anything easy. We didn’t laugh and joke when we messed up. We learned from it and didn’t do it again.