CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Three Mid-Ohio Valley teams advanced through here Friday at the state volleyball tournament inside the Charleston Civic Center to play for championships today as both Williamstown in Class A and Ritchie County in Class AA will get the chance to avenge last year's runner-up efforts.
Little Kanawha Conference champion Tyler Consolidated (45-4) will provide the opposition to Williamstown, which eliminated Magnolia 25-19, 25-8 and 25-22 to reach today's single-A title match. That is expected to get under way at approximately 2 p.m.
In today's early 10 a.m. affair, first-year head coach Melanie Allender's Rebels from Ellenboro will get a rematch against defending Class AA state champion Oak Glen. Parkersburg (43-14-1) was ousted in the semifinals by Musselman in straight sets - 25-23, 25-15 and 25-18 - as the Applemen will take on George Washington in the triple-A finals.
"We have a true team," said coach Allender, who watched Tristin Toman register a kill for match point in the semifinals during a 25-20, 25-17, 17-25 and 25-10 defeat of Philip Barbour. "When I look at our stats we have no more than one person who leads in one area.
"Five of my girls lead in one category and they are capable. From the beginning of the season they've bought into the idea of team work. It's not me. It's them."
Magnolia, which won its opening round match by scores of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-17 against Sherman, never got going against Williamstown, which improved to 38-8-1 after Kenzie Smith sealed the match via a downed spike. The 'Jackets breezed through the quarterfinal round against Pendleton County (25-13, 25-9, 25-20) as Ciara Flowers and Lincoln Postlewaite combined for 15 kills. Ashton Chancellor chipped in 15 points, five aces and as many kills while Brooke Cieslewski had two dozen digs.
The Silver Knights waltzed past Fayetteville (25-6, 25-14, 25-11) in their 8:30 a.m. quarterfinal match and then eliminated East Hardy (25-15, 25-12, 20-25, 25-21) when Abby Atkinson smashed a kill via a Torrye Cline assist to end the match.
"Oh my gosh. That's absolutely mind blowing," Atkinson said shortly after the semifinal triumph of soon playing for a state championship. "I'm absolutely speechless. They fought just as hard as we did. It's so overwhelming."
Parkersburg needed four sets during its quarterfinal match to oust Greenbrier East (25-13, 25-16, 19-25, 25-20). The Big Reds received a combined 29 assists from Lyxis Reeder and Jordan Lallemont while Paige Warner (22) and Imani Ward (18) led the kill barrage. Megan Morrison
chipped in 10 digs, nine points and an ace versus the Spartans.
However, things didn't go as planned in the semifinals as the red and white never had a lead until the third set. Musselman jumped ahead 8-1 in the opening set and 7-2 in the second set to take early control of the semifinals. Ward had a team-high 10 downed spikes.
"We just didn't play well. We tried our best," said PHS head coach Carl Harnish, which were the same thoughts echoed by Parkersburg Catholic head coach Sandy Swisher after the Crusaderettes (27-22-1) were tripped up in the quarterfinals by East Hardy (25-16, 26-24, 25-17).
Hannah Reifsteck had 11 points, nine assists and four aces for PCHS, which also got nine assists from Amy Tennant, six points, nine digs and three aces from Leah Hughes as well as a 10 kills by Hannah Fisher and seven downed spikes from Maddie Roedersheimer.
Versus Magnolia, which concluded its season at 20-13-1, the 'Jackets were paced by Jessie Kerns in assists (14), Carley Ellison in points (13), Chancellor in kills (seven) and Cieslewski in digs (24). Magnolia's top performers included Ashley Moore (10 points), Mallory Chapman (nine points, seven kills, five blocks) and Lauren Cline, who had 16 assists. Blue Eagles Kiera Standiford and Audrey Gibb combined for 10 kills.
Parkersburg South was the other area Class AAA entrant, but the Patriots (20-17) had a tough go against George Washington, which posted a 25-13, 25-15 and 25-17 victory. Kayleigh Rexroad had four points, Taylor Ratliff contributed nine assists and Kasey Williams collected six kills to pace the Patriots. Coach Becky Bennett's squad also received four assists, three points, four kills and 10 digs from Lexi Spencer while Alexis Leach had a team-best 11 digs.
For Ritchie County in the semifinals, Leah Kuhn collected 15 points and three aces, Veronica Mueller had 15 digs and the trio of Kenna DeLancey, Toman and Cassidy Ray combined for 31 downed spikes. Rebel Olivia Haught had 26 assists versus the Colts and during a 25-19, 25-15 and 25-22 victory versus PikeView in the quarterifnals, Haught had 22 assists as Amanda Davis served for 13 points and a trio of aces.
Tyler Consolidated got balanced scoring from the service line against East Hardy thanks to Allison Wable (14), Sydney Reed (14) and Megan Carpenter (10). Wable (18) and Bridget Matthews (11) finished with double digit kill totals. Cline was credited with 32 assists.
"We knew that team (East Hardy) was for real when they beat Parkersburg Catholic," said TCHS head coach Richard Summers, whose squad got 13 points, 12 digs and four aces from Shay Yonaley versus Fayetteville. "It (the championship match against Williamstown) will be interesting."
Magnolia was led in part to its victory versus Sherman thanks to getting high total point efforts from Cline (21), Chapman (17) and Erinn Clegg (15).