PARKERSBURG - Edison pushed Hamilton to the brink in the Wood County volleyball championships on Thursday at Parkersburg Catholic, but in the end the Wildcats of head coach Pam Reeves pulled it out.
Edison (13-7) first had to knock off Williamstown in the losers' bracket final and managed to do that in a very tight 25-22, 23-25 and 26-24 triumph. Then the Eagles had to hand Hamilton its first loss of the year and Edison pulled off that feat too via a 16-25, 25-14 and 25-22 win.
However, the double-elimination format then called for Edison to topple Hamilton (17-1) once more, but that task proved to be too daunting as the Wildcats rallied from a 27-25 game one loss to cruise to the Wood County title by capturing the final two games by scores of 25-17 and 25-16.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Michleen Tannous of Hamilton not only had a team-high five kills in the second championship match Thursday night at Parkersburg Catholic, but the Wildcat also served for match point to help lift head coach Pam Reeves’ squad to the Wood County crown by eliminating Edison 25-27, 25-17 and 25-16.
"They (Edison) played their hardest. We just didn't give up," said Taylor Beckley, one of coach Reeves' quartet of captains.
It appeared Edison might upset the Wildcats in both matches as the Eagles led 17-14 in set two of the second championship match after Nicole Landis notched a kill from a Taylor Life assist.
That was far from the case as point 17 was the final tally of game two for Edison. Hamilton's Hannah Hill, who had a match-high 16 points including two aces, then went to the service line and notched 10 successive points to make the Wood County title all boil down to a final third game.
Although Logan Somerville of Edison served up a pair of aces to help the Eagles to an early 3-0 cushion, Hamilton tied it at 5 when Kaitlin Farrah scored from the service line thanks to a Kailey Cox kill.
A hitting error by Hamilton gave the Eagles their final lead at 6-5 and the Wildcats took the lead for good at 7-6 on a Cox ace. Cox actually served Edison to a 13-6 advantage and it was 17-8 following another Hill service tally.
Amber Cottrell of Edison did score four straight points, including a pair of aces to make it 17-13, but the Eagles failed to get any closer. Michleen Tannous, who joined Beckley, Cox and Farrah as captains this year, had consecutive aces to end the match and give Hamilton its title.
"It's all right because we still won the whole thing," Cox said when asked if she was bummed out about not finishing the season unbeaten.
"Having full confidence in your team," added Farrah as to what the biggest key to victory was after losing the first championship match.
Tannous' five downed spikes paced Hamilton in the second championship match.
"It was awesome," Tannous said of serving out the final two points.
Kasey Williams of Edison led all spikers in the second finals match with eight kills. Somerville added 10 points, a half dozen aces and five kills in the finals loss while producing match-highs of 19 points and eight aces in the first championship match.
Beckley's 13 and Jordan Lallemont's nine points paced Hamilton during the first title match defeat. Beckley also had seven kills and Farrah as many assists.
Williamstown's Cierra King (18) and Whitney McAtee (11) both scored double figures from the service line in the losers' bracket final. McAtee and Chelsea Butler combined for 10 kills.
Life led the Eagles with 11 service tallies versus the 'Jackets, who received a match-high seven assists from Erica Amos.